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The nave and cloister are unaffected, Christmas services will go ahead, College Yard will reopen this weekend and the bells will ring once more...

Storm Arwen: Update

The damage caused to the north quire aisle roof by Storm Arwen overnight on Friday 26 / Saturday 27 November, though serious, is confined to the aisle and the hole in the roof now has a temporary, weather-proof covering.   The nave and cloister remain unaffected, meaning we were able to re-open to visitors on Monday morning, and the shop and cafe are open as usual.  Our team of experts has been on-site this week conducting investigations and we are working towards a programme of repair. We do not yet know how long the programme of repair will take, nor how much it will cost, but we do know that it will be several months and the cost will be significant.  The area of damage in the north quire aisle and the quire itself will be closed at least until the new year as our team works on temporary protections and cleaning of the local area. However, we are pleased to announce that our programme of Christmas services will go ahead in the nave. Unfortunately, the loss of capacity in the north quire aisle does mean that we have been unable to release the additional tickets we had hoped to this week for our Christmas Carol and Crib Services.  The organ was not damaged during the incident, however we must safeguard and clean the instrument during the period of ongoing work, so we are disappointed to report that it too will be out of action for some time. We will continue to use our electric organ in the meantime. A rope access team has been with us all week (you may have seen people abseiling down the tower!) carrying out investigations, and we are now able to re-open College Yard this weekend for pedestrian and vehicle access. The Cathedral bells and clock chimes were also silenced whilst these investigations took place and both will be reinstated this weekend.  We do not expect the East End of the Cathedral to re-open this side of Christmas, however the heating is now on in the nave and it is safe and warm for visiting and services. Once a frame to stabilise the vault has been installed, we hope to open the rest of the quire and the east end for services and visitors once more.  We are sorry to bring a mixed update, with good and bad news, but hope that you will understand the difficulties we face over the coming months.  Please consider supporting the ongoing work of the Cathedral at this difficult time through our Christmas Appeal - you can find more details below.

Cathedral re-opens after suffering extensive damage in Storm Arwen

We have now re-opened to visitors following a weekend of disruption after damage was caused by Storm Arwen.

The doors re-opened at 10am on Monday morning, with visiting and services restricted to the nave and the cloister, and the shop and café open as usual.

During the storm on Friday evening, part of a pinnacle from the side of the tower fell through the roof of the north quire aisle.

The Cathedral’s staff and professional advisers worked hard and fast to assess the damage and ensure the safety of those visiting the Cathedral.

The Dean of Worcester, Peter Atkinson, said: “A team of experts is on-site conducting investigations and making the affected area of roof water and weather-proof. The nave and cloister are unaffected and open and safe for services and visiting.

“The roof’s ribbed vault appears to have buckled under the impact but has not given way. This is a tribute to those unnamed masons who built the east end of the Cathedral in the thirteenth century.

“The damage, though serious, is confined to the aisle. The hole in the roof now has a temporary covering. A programme of repair is being planned and a rope access team have today been assessing the tower.

“Our plans for Christmas are, at present, able to go ahead, working around the new situation we find ourselves in.

“We do not yet know how long the programme of repair will take, nor how much it will cost, and it is the knock-on effect that we cannot account for. We have already lost income over the weekend and are sadly unable to release additional tickets for our popular Christmas Carol and Crib Services as we had planned to this week, as a result of losing capacity in the north transept.

“This is a terrible thing to have happened, particularly in the run up to Christmas. Whilst repairs take place, we will be operating under temporary measures designed to maximise our use of the building; but it will take time for us to be back to normal once more.

“We are grateful to still have the use of the nave and cloister and are so looking forward to welcoming the community to come together and celebrate Christmas with us here at the Cathedral.

“There is a full programme of Christmas events, services and concerts coming up. To help us to enable this to go ahead, and for the Cathedral to continue into the future, please consider making a donation to our Christmas Appeal. We thank you, in advance, for your generosity and support, without which, we would not be able to open our doors.”

To donate to our Christmas Appeal 2021, please click here. 

Worcester Cathedral Christmas Appeal 2021

We Need Your Support this Christmas: A Message from the Dean

"As Dean of Worcester it gives me great pleasure to invite you and your loved ones to attend the upcoming Christmas celebrations at our Cathedral. It’s a most welcome sign that we are slowly recovering from the trials of the last 18+ months.

"I know how special the Cathedral is within many lives and I most sincerely thank you all for your kindness and support. Thanks in great part to the generosity of our loyal supporters the Cathedral has survived, financially; though I must tell you that we are by no means out of the woods just yet.

"That’s why, today, I’m here to make a request of you – someone who loves and values our wonderful Cathedral. If you can, could you please make a financial contribution this Christmas to the Cathedral?

"Your support will ensure Worcester Cathedral remains open to serve our community – and especially over Christmastime – whether as a sanctuary for worship and for peaceful reflection; a place to gather with friends for conversation over coffee; a venue to enjoy music; or simply a beautiful building steeped in history.

"We’re really looking forward to welcoming you to enjoy being a part of the Worcestershire community’s coming together, throughout the festive period.

"Our celebrations will include carol services and concerts, the crib services and midnight mass on Christmas Eve. You can see a full programme of services by clicking here.

"Please accept in advance our sincere and grateful thanks for any contribution you feel able to make at this time. Your gift will enable the Cathedral to continue to be a focus for the whole community, as we come together at Christmas, to celebrate the birth of Christ, and to join in the song of the angels: ‘Peace on earth and goodwill to all’.

"May I wish you and your loved ones an early Merry Christmas.
Yours sincerely,

The Very Reverend Peter Atkinson
Dean of Worcester

Please click here to donate to our Christmas 2021 Appeal.

 

Vote for the Cathedral in the '12 Days of Giving' Christmas Campaign and help us to secure £1,000

The wonderful people at Ecclesiastical Insurance are once again supporting charities this year through their '12 Days of Giving' Christmas Campaign. 
And you could help secure a donation for Worcester Cathedral!
Over 12 days in December the group is choosing 10 charities each day to receive £1,000.
Please nominate Worcester Cathedral so that we are in with a chance!

Ecclesiastical 12 Days Nomination Button

 

HRH The Duke of Gloucester Visits Worcester Cathedral

The Dean of Worcester, the Very Reverend Peter Atkinson, was delighted to welcome HRH The Duke of Gloucester to the Cathedral on a very bright and sunny Tuesday morning, 2 November.

As the Chancellor of the University of Worcester, The Duke made the time, ahead of his ceremonial duties during graduation week, for a visit with Cathedral clergy and staff and Civic dignitaries and a tour of the newly launched Undercroft Learning Centre. Dean Peter said: "It was a pleasure to welcome HRH The Duke of Gloucester to view the Undercroft Learning Centre. As a former architect, The Duke seemed very interested and impressed by the space below College Hall, previously the monastic storage rooms, which has been transformed into a vibrant centre for learning and discovery."

£300k boost for Worcester Cathedral in round two of government's Culture Recovery Fund

Worcester Cathedral is among 142 historic sites across England that are receiving grants worth £35 million through the second round of the government’s Culture Recovery Fund.

We're delighted to have been awarded £328,794, which will be used to continue essential repairs to the medieval library. The funding will not only help to secure some of the Cathedral’s most valuable treasures - including the will of King John and a 1225 copy of Magna Carta – but also enable us to enhance our environmental sustainability. During autumn 2019 the Cathedral library team started to report water ingress to the building. A resulting inspection made clear there was a significant issue with the roof and associated masonry. During lockdowns, environmental conditions in the library deteriorated further, placing some of the Cathedral’s most important artefacts at risk. With support from round one of the CRF, the skilled team was able to fully overhaul and re-cover the roof of the ante-library and thermally stabilise the conservation room, which houses the most sensitive items of the collection. Phase two of the essential improvement works to the main library means that they can now continue to improve the thermal and sustainable measures of the rest of the library; encouraged by the aims of the 2030 Net Zero Carbon Target set by the Church of England. Funding through phase two of the CRF will enable us to: provide temporary protection to the library; re-cover the lead roof, improving the detail where possible; improve rainwater disposal locally and; install a latch-on man safe system to the roofs. In addition, some of the high roofs needing urgent attention immediately above the library can also be repaired to prevent water ingress. Emily Draper, Estates Manager, said: “I am delighted by the news that our plan for phase two of the library roof works has been supported and funded by the Culture Recovery Fund for Programmes of Major Works. This work will make such a difference to the health of the main library and ensure we are protecting the precious collection for the future. It is wonderful that we can repair the tiles and give the south transept and south slope of the nave some much needed love and attention too. I am excited for the project to start and looking forward to being able to clip onto our new safety system and tour the upper roof spaces!” Worcester Cathedral houses one of the most important libraries and archives of any English Cathedral and it attracts visitors and scholars from all over the world. It has collected manuscripts since the seventh century and now has the second largest collection of medieval manuscripts in any cathedral in the United Kingdom. It contains nearly 300 manuscripts, maps, plans, drawings, books and archives dating from the 10th Century onwards and many still have their original bindings. The library also holds many early printed books and music (from medieval to Sir Edward Elgar), historical documents and ancient artefacts. About the Culture Recovery Fund This vital funding is from the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage and the Heritage Stimulus Fund - funded by Government and administered at arms-length by Historic England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Both funds are part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund which is designed to secure the future of Britain’s museums, galleries, theatres, independent cinemas, heritage sites and music venues with emergency grants and loans. Culture Secretary, Nadine Dorries, said: "From local churches to ancient buildings and landscapes, the UK's unique heritage makes our towns, cities and villages stronger, more vibrant and helps bring communities together. "This latest funding - £35 million from our unprecedented Culture Recovery Fund - will help protect sites for future generations and help them build back better from the pandemic." Duncan Wilson, Historic England’s Chief Executive, added: “Funding from the government’s Culture Recovery Fund is hugely welcome at a time when the people and organisations who look after our vast and varied array of heritage urgently need support to carry out essential repairs. Heritage is a fragile eco-system, with an amazing cast of characters who keep our historic places alive, with specialist skills that take time to learn and experience to perfect. These grants will protect their livelihoods, as they use their expertise to help our heritage survive.” Money from the Heritage Stimulus Fund will also keep our nationally and internationally significant heritage assets in good condition and sustain the skilled craftspeople that looks after them.

Worcester Cathedral joins nationwide call for churches to ring their bells, ahead of the United Nations Climate Conference in Glasgow.

Cathedral Bells Ring Out For Climate Justice

The Ring Out for Climate Change campaign is led by Edward Gildea, a Christian Aid climate campaign organiser, who asked churches to ring their bells as a warning of the climate emergency and to mark the start of the conference. The Dean of Worcester, Peter Atkinson, said: “Here at Worcester Cathedral, we believe that today is a time of real national crisis and so, on Sunday 31st October our young ringers sounded our bells to warn the people of Worcester of the threat we face. “Extreme weather events have already affected us in Worcester through flooding, and as Christians we are deeply concerned with the millions around the world who are being profoundly affected. “We are proud to join this initiative to sound the alarm for climate justice, as we work towards our goal of becoming an Eco Church.” The UN Climate Conference, CoP26, sees world leaders and delegates meet in Glasgow and work together to commit to a reduction in emissions to avoid a climate emergency. It comes just months after the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change described global warming as a ‘code red for humanity.’ The bell ringing campaign was endorsed by the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Revd Graham Usher, the CoE’s lead bishop on the environment, and part of the delegation in Glasgow. He said: “Church bells have traditionally been rung through the centuries to raise the alarm for local communities. The recent ‘code red’ report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is an alarm call for us all. “I am happy to endorse a nationwide ‘ring out for climate change’ as a symbol of warning, but also of hope, that this conference will lead to action for us all, like Jesus, to tread more gently on our single island planet home and care more for those already adversely affected by climate change, especially in the economically poorest places on earth,” he added. As well as this special ringing, Worcester Cathedral is carrying out a number of initiatives to show its commitment to the climate crisis. During the COP26 conference, there will be a dedicated prayer space and prayers offered every day for the conference attendees; members of the Cathedral Eco Group and community will take part in an Ecumenical Walk of Witness through Worcester on the National Day of Action for COP26 (6 November), walking between local churches, offering readings, prayers and reflections. Image courtesy of Ring Out for Climate FB Group

Tickets are NOW AVAILABLE to pre-book to visit our glittering Christmas Tree Festival 2021 around the Cathedral’s medieval Cloister.

Christmas Tree Festival 2021

The festival is open to visit from Wednesday 1 December to Sunday 2 January (excluding Christmas Day). Wednesday 1 – Saturday 5 December: Entry is on a free-flow basis from 10am to 5pm, last entry at 4.30pm. No tickets are being issued. Numbers will be monitored and regulated in the Cloister and you may be asked to queue as we expect a large number of people visiting the Cathedral, particularly during the Christmas Fayre in the city, from 2-5 December. Monday 6 – Wednesday 15 December (excluding Sundays): Entry to see the Christmas Tree Festival is by pre-booked ticket: Visit our What's-On page to book your tickets. Ticket entry is for a 14-minute timed slot, with the first time slot at 11am and last entry at 4pm. The Cathedral will close at 5pm for visiting. Thursday 16 – Thursday 23 December (excluding Sundays): Entry to the Christmas Tree Festival is also by pre-booked ticket: Visit our What's-On page to book your tickets. Ticket entry is for a 14-minute timed slot, the first timed slots start at 10am and the last entry is at 4pm. The Cathedral will close at 5pm for visiting. Friday 24 December to Sunday 2 January and on Sunday 5, 12 and 19 December: The Christmas Tree Festival will be open during normal visiting times, subject to services. The festival will not be ticketed on these dates. Numbers will be monitored and regulated in the Cloister and to facilitate this you may be asked to queue and wait to enter. Further Information: Entry to the Christmas Tree Festival, either free-flow or with a ticket, is free of charge, and donations are welcomed to help support our work. The sparkling Christmas trees are innovatively and individually designed and decorated by local schools, charities, businesses and organisations. They are a wonderful sight to be enjoyed by all the family. Our Christmas Tree Festival is very popular and we recommend booking a timed entry slot to visit as we will limit the number of people in the Cloister. Please note that your timed entry slot is for the Christmas Tree Festival in the Cloister; other parts of the Cathedral will be open for visitors and other events as normal during day-time visiting hours. Entrance to the Christmas Tree Festival is via the main north door, in College Yard, opposite the High Street. There may be the need to queue on arrival, either outside or inside the Cathedral, so please dress appropriately for the weather. Please book a ticket for everyone in your group, including babies and small children as they will count towards the number of visitors we allow in to the Christmas Tree Festival. Tickets for your group must be in the same timeslot. We recommend arriving at the Cathedral close to the start of your time slot. However, you are warmly invited to explore and enjoy the rest of the Cathedral before or after your time slot, during normal visiting hours. Viewing the Christmas Trees will be subject to Government Covid-19 guidance at the time. We will notify you if the date of your booking has to be cancelled due to Government Covid-19 guidance. If dates are moved, you will need to book a new date and time slot. Refreshments are available to purchase from our Cloister Cafe and there are lots of gift ideas to be found in the Cathedral shop. We look forward to welcoming you as part of Christmas 2021 at Worcester Cathedral.

Worcester Cathedral announces new Residentiary Canon and Precentor, an appointment by HM The Queen

The Chapter of Worcester Cathedral is delighted that The Queen has approved the appointment of the Reverend John Paul Hoskins as Residentiary Canon and Precentor in succession to Canon Michael Brierley.

John Paul is at present Priest-in-Charge of Winchcombe in the Diocese of Gloucester. Among his previous posts he has been a Minor Canon of Gloucester Cathedral and Chaplain to two Bishops of Gloucester.

Before ordination he was a Lay Clerk at Guildford and Durham Cathedrals. John Paul is married to Liz, who is a consultant ophthalmologist and who grew up in the Teme Valley, west of Worcester. They have a daughter Suzanna, who is 8 and the household also includes two border terriers.

John Paul said: “I’m enormously excited to be coming to Worcester as the new Precentor. Worcester Cathedral has a tremendous history of welcome and worship, with an outstanding musical tradition. I’m hugely looking forward to joining the Cathedral as part of a great community of prayer and praise to God.” 

The Bishop of Worcester, the Right Revd Dr John Inge, says: “I am delighted that The Queen has approved the appointment of John Paul Hoskins as Precentor. He is a very gifted priest with a wealth of relevant experience. We look forward greatly to welcoming him.”

The Dean of Worcester, the Very Reverend Peter Atkinson, said: “With his pastoral and musical background, John Paul is highly qualified for the post of Precentor, and I’m thrilled that he is joining the Cathedral community.”

John Paul will be installed in late January.

 

SPACE: SPECTACULAR SOUND & LIGHT SHOW SEPTEMBER 2021

Visitors to Worcester Cathedral journeyed to the edge of the universe and beyond!

SPACE is a spectacular internal sound and light show created by award winning artistic collaboration ‘Luxmuralis’, Peter Walker Sculptor and David Harper Composer. Visitors went on an immersive journey through light and sound that transformed the interior of majestic Worcester Cathedral. The visual spectacular allowed viewers to go on a journey through space and time and the chance to walk amongst the stars. Sound and light art was projected onto the stunning architectural features within the Cathedral and visitors were enveloped with bespoke music as they viewed and experienced a journey to the edge of the Universe and back!

New Opportunities for Young Singers at Worcester Cathedral

With the start of the new term well underway, Worcester Cathedral is offering new opportunities for young singers across the city and beyond, through its relaunched Voluntary Choir and newly established Youth Choir – the first new choir to be launched at the Cathedral for 15 years.

The Voluntary Choir, founded in 1874, starts a new chapter as a choir for girls and boys in school years 4 to 8. The choir will rehearse weekly on Wednesday evenings and sing each Sunday in the magnificent surroundings of Worcester Cathedral at the 6.30pm service. Worcester Cathedral is seeking children who enjoy singing and would like the opportunity to meet new friends, learn new music and perform regularly in an inspiring space. No audition is required, and families will be warmly welcomed as part of the Cathedral’s community. The Youth Choir welcomes teenage singers in school years 9 to 13. The choir will rehearse weekly on Friday evenings and enjoy a variety of performance opportunities during each term. Joining Worcester Cathedral Youth Choir will give enthusiastic teenage singers the opportunity to explore a variety of choral music and perform at a high level whilst enjoying social time with new friends. Worcester Cathedral’s Director of Music, Samuel Hudson, said: “We are delighted to be offering more opportunities for young singers in Worcester and the surrounding area to join us in this truly magnificent setting. “It’s very exciting to be launching the first new choir at the Cathedral for 15 years, and we look forward to welcoming new choir members and their families.” Assistant Director of Music, Nicholas Freestone, added: “I am delighted to be conducting the relaunched Voluntary Choir and new Youth Choir and look forward to welcoming many new young singers to these groups. Worcester Cathedral has been a place of musical excellence for centuries, and it is truly exciting for this new chapter to begin, as we offer a greater number of opportunities than ever before for young singers across the city of Worcester and beyond.” For further information, or to discuss joining one of these choirs, please contact Nicholas Freestone, Assistant Director of Music: nicholasfreestone@worcestercathedral.org.uk

The Leaves of the Trees at Worcester Cathedral August 2021

A reflective memorial to the pandemic

Throughout August, an installation of steel 'Hope' leaves, by artist Peter Walker, lined the floor of the Cathedral's Lady Chapel, as a reflective memorial to the effects of the pandemic. Designed to honour those who have lost their lives, but also to allow everyone to take a moment to contemplate what we have been through and to think about loved ones. The leaves were laid out on the Cathedral floor, creating a beautiful impression of autumn leaves fallen from the trees. Appearing as though naturally scattered by the wind, the leaves symbolised the past and what has transpired. However, the leaf is also emblematic of the future. The artist chose a sycamore maple leaf as it symbolises strength, protection, eternity and clarity.

Cathedral's famous bells ring out in support of first national NHS, Social Care and Frontline Workers Day - 5 July 2021

The bells were heard across the city to pay tribute to our NHS heroes

In case you missed us, we were delighted to welcome BBC Midlands Today to the Cathedral to help us mark the first national NHS, Social Care and Frontline Workers Day. Our famous bells were heard across the city at 8pm for 45 minutes on Monday evening to mark this first national day of recognition to mark the anniversary of the birth of the National Health Service in 1948. The Dean of Worcester Cathedral, Peter Atkinson, said: “The NHS has been treasured since its inception, but never more so since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020. “We were proud to ring our bells to show our gratitude and support to all of our doctors, nurses, paramedics, carers and other critical workers who gave their all to keep our essential services running while the country faced the pandemic. “We also remember all those who have lost their lives to this dreadful disease and their loved ones who are left behind.”

We're Cycle Friendly!

We're super happy to have our brand new bike racks in place, and look forward to welcoming more cyclists...

We recently received our brand-new bike racks, kindly donated to us by the Park That Bike initiative. Earlier this year, cyclists from the Cathedral, including Bishop John Inge, took part in the National Cathedral Cycle Route - a relay which saw cyclists travelling nearly 2,000 miles between all 42 English Cathedrals. Launched during Bike Week 2021, the Cathedrals Cycle Route was a unique partnership between the Association of English Cathedrals, the British Pilgrimage Trust, Cycling UK and Sustrans, and linked all 42 Church of England Cathedrals in a new initiative to promote greener travel and mental and physical wellbeing. The Dean of Worcester Cathedral, Peter Atkinson, said: "We whole-heartedly support the ethos of the cycle challenge, promoting greener travel and mental and physical wellbeing, the importance of which has been highlighted by the challenges we have all faced during the pandemic. “We look forward to welcoming as many cyclists as possible to the Cathedral going forward, where you can find the perfect place to cool off, refresh and rehydrate, whilst enjoying our beautiful setting."

National Cathedral Cycle Relay Gallery

View our images of the National Cathedral Cycle Relay riders arriving, handing over the baton and departing Worcester Cathedral.

Images by Chris Dobbs. 

Sunday News

Our Sunday News has a new home! Click here to read the latest editions

See the Services page for a list of services.

Community Annual Meeting 2021

Documents for the Community Annual Meeting to be held on Sunday 26 September 2021. Details of the nominations procedure are on the Notice & Agenda download.

Notice & Agenda
Report and Accounts for the Year 2020/21
A Vision for 2025

What Worcester Cathedral means to me

Find out what our community had to say here.

 

 

Jobs

We currently have vacancies for Choral and Organ Scholars for the academic year 2022-23, amongst others.

Find out more here 

Worcester Cathedral Under Lockdown

Read below a series of articles by members of Cathedral Community and clergy about the Cathedral in lockdown. 

A Strange Retirement - James Pertwee 

Faith in Lockdown - William Gee

Article 1 by Canon Michael Brierley

Article 2 by Canon Stephen Edwards

Article 3 by Canon Georgina Byrnes

Article 4 by The Dean of Worcester

Article 5 by The Bishop of Worcester

Historic Closures of Worcester Cathedral

A downloadable PDF of Historical Closures of Worcester Cathedral by The Librarian