Photographic Competition 2022: Results
We're delighted to announce the winners in our Photographic Competition 2022!
1st: Kevin Phillips for 'The Hands That Play'
2nd: Kevin Phillips for 'The Golden Beak'
3rd: Alan Williams for 'Pink Giraffe'
1st: Theo Shuard for 'A Glimpse of Heaven'
2nd: Monroe Hughes 'Inside Upside Down'
3rd: Eleanor Drew 'Eyes can be deceiving'
Over 18s: Chris Bright for 'The Swan and Love Birds'
Under 18s: Jack Chambers for 'Remembrance'
Over 18s: Chloe Cheshire for 'The River of Swans'
Under 18s: Casper Andrews for 'Stormy Skies'
Over 18s: John Keily for 'Space and Light Show'
Under 18s: Theo Shuard for 'Solus Sunlight'
'SCIENCE' Spectacular Sound & Light Show by LUXMURALIS
20-24 September 2022
A dramatic sound and light installation that takes visitors on a journey of scientific discovery is coming to Worcester Cathedral this September. The SCIENCE event will see the interior of the majestic building transformed to take visitors on a journey of exploration and intrigue. Created by award winning artistic duo ‘Luxmuralis’ – made up of sculptor Peter Walker and composer David Harper - sound and light art is projected onto the stunning architectural features within the Cathedral and visitors are enveloped with bespoke music as they make their way through the breath-taking installation. SCIENCE is designed to explore and contemplate the contributions of science and human understanding of the physical world around us. The artwork examines Chemistry and Biology and interprets artistically the scale of molecules, cells and DNA, as well as exploring the history of science, the contributions of science to humanity, and offers a reflection upon famous scientists past and present. The artwork also respects the sacred space it is viewed within and offers contemplation of religion and science together within the Cathedral, offering reflection on the ways in which science and religion neither prove nor disprove the other; exploring how wisdom and beauty both serve to kindle our imaginations and enlarge our capacity for wonder. Visitors hear bespoke filmic arrangements, composed and produced by David Harper, that capture the visuals and invigorate the senses. The artwork and visual imagery are created by Artist Peter Walker, who uses light as if painting on a canvas. Head over to the 'What's On' page to book your tickets!
BBC Songs of Praise to Film ‘All Creatures Great and Small: A Service of Blessing for Animals’
Friday 16 September 2022, 5.30pm
We're delighted to invite you and your animal friends to our annual pet blessing service. This year's service will be filmed by BBC Songs of Praise for a feature which will air on 2 October in an episode designed to celebrate and give thanks for the way animals can enhance our lives. The feature will be presented by the Reverend Kate Bottley, a great animal lover herself. The Songs of Praise production team is really keen that all feel welcome, and they would particularly like to speak to anyone with a story about how their pets have made a direct impact on their life and Christian faith*. They will be pleased to feature all creatures great and small (!), especially any more unusual pets. The service will be a celebration of our beloved pets, and will be conducted by the Precentor, Canon John Paul Hoskins. Canon Hoskins said: “We are so pleased to be able to hold our pet blessing service once again this year. “Animals make such a difference in our lives; they are part of our families, there for us in good times and bad and give us unconditional love. Many people take great pleasure in the companionship of a pet. And for those who have suffered and are grieving, pets can bring great comfort to their owners. “We look forward to taking a moment to give thanks and praise for all of our beloved animal companions.” The service will start at 5.30pm and last roughly 30 minutes. We ask that the congregation is seated by 5.20pm. Please pre-book your free tickets on our 'What's On' page to allow us to manage capacity, and bring your pets along for a joyous and uplifting service. All creatures, great and small, are welcome (with a well-behaved owner!). And those who wish to attend without a pet are warmly welcome too; there will be additional seating for our human worshippers, as well as an area for smaller pets. Please book one ticket for each person attending, including babies and small children. To express your interest in being interviewed for Songs of Praise, please book your tickets in the first instance, then email firstname.lastname@example.org with your story so that we can pass your details on to the Songs of Praise team. * Please understand that Rev. Kate and the team will only be able to interview a limited number of people on the day, but you and your pet may well be caught on camera and so your attendance will be taken as consent to be shown on BBC ONE in the context of the programme.
Storm Damage Repair Work
Repair work is nearing completion following damage caused by Storm Arwen in November 2021. Although the Quire reopened in April, it will be closed again for approximately two weeks, from 1-15 August, as internal works take place. This means there is no access to King John's Tomb, Prince Arthur Tudor's Chantry and the misericords. The King John replica, donated by the British Library, is once again on display in the west nave for all to enjoy, along with our popular King John touchscreen. The repair works are now in their final phase. Over the summer months there will be a lot of activity as the vault repair is completed, the roof tiles replaced, and the cleaned organ pipes restored to their position. Whilst these various contractors complete their vital work the Cathedral may be noisier than usual, and we may need to change the visitor route on occasion. We give thanks for the skill and expertise of all those working on the repairs and all who support and maintain the fabric of the Cathedral.
Worcester Cathedral Makes Music For All
Summer Music Appeal 2022
Music and our choirs are an integral part of Cathedral life and after the difficult, silent years of the pandemic, it is joyful to be immersed in music and singing once again. Many of you supported us through those trying times - and we are SO grateful. As we look to the future the challenge is to raise enough funds each year to maintain our choirs, Cathedral organs and our world-class choral tradition. In order to do this, we need your help... The return of live music has been a collaborative effort and we are grateful to be part of such a supportive community. It was wonderful that our recent afternoon event to celebrate the 450th anniversary of the birth of Thomas Tomkins, one of my distinguished predecessors here at Worcester Cathedral, was so well-attended. I am delighted that we have much still to share with you, including our participation in this year’s Three Choirs Festival, our popular lunchtime recitals, and in September the start of another school year when our amazing choirs return to their schedule singing eight Cathedral services per week. The autumn term of course culminates in our Christmas Carol Services, which we know are a highlight of the Cathedral’s calendar for many, as they are for me! Music plays a very special role here, and we continue to be enormously thankful for your support. At the start of this academic year, I was privileged to lead a process of significant change to the chorister programme in order to present equal opportunities to boy and girl choristers in the Cathedral Choir. At the same time, significant step changes were made to the Cathedral Voluntary Choir, which was opened to all boys and girls from the local area, and we also created a brand new Youth Choir, the first of its kind at the Cathedral. As we look to the future the challenge is to raise enough funds each year to maintain our choirs, Cathedral organs, and our world-class choral tradition. That’s why, today, I am writing to ask for your help - could you please consider making a donation to enable us to continue to sustain the music, singing and music education that enrich life and worship here in Worcester? Of course, music is an important part of many strands of the Cathedral’s life, from our bells which ring out in support of the city during times of both sadness and celebration, to regular musical events, festivals and concerts featuring international artists, to performances by local musicians and school children. We are proud that Worcester Cathedral makes music for all and enhances the cultural life of the city and region. If you would like to help ensure that music here at the Cathedral can be sustained, strengthened, and developed, then please consider making a gift to our Summer Music Appeal. Live music is unparalleled in its ability to bring out the best in those performing, and to create a real energy and excitement for all those listening. I very much hope that you will be able to join with us at one of our upcoming events, services, or concerts. In the meantime, please accept in advance my sincere and grateful thanks for any contribution you feel able to make to support our music at this crucial time. With all good wishes, Samuel Hudson Organist & Director of Music
A warm welcome to our new Chief Operating Officer
The Dean and Chapter are delighted to welcome Matthew Hall.
Matthew has joined us from the Diocese of Bristol, where he has worked for the past 14 years, most recently holding the position of Deputy Diocesan Secretary (Finance & Operations). Matthew will play a central role in delivering the Chapter’s strategy and plans, managing its day-to-day operations and nurturing its unique character and vision. Matthew is a Chartered Accountant by background. He has previously worked at Bristol Cathedral and is also a trustee of a regional environmental charity. Matthew is currently studying for a master’s degree in Voluntary Sector Management with the Centre of Charity Effectiveness at Bayes Business School in London. On being appointed, Matthew said: “I am delighted to have been appointed as Chief Operating Officer and to join the Cathedral at this exciting time, as we come out of the pandemic and with so many opportunities ahead. Worcester Cathedral is an outstanding centre of faith, heritage and community and I am very much looking forward to working with the Chapter and gifted colleagues to serve all those who connect with this unique place and its history and mission." The Dean of Worcester, the Very Reverend Peter Atkinson, said: “Matthew has a wealth of knowledge and experience which make him highly qualified for the post of Chief Operating Officer, and we are thrilled that he is joining the Cathedral community. “We are delighted to welcome Matthew and we wish him well in his appointment, and after several months without a COO in post, it will be very good to have him with us.”
We've announced the names of our peregrine chicks...
Introducing.... Johnny, Arty, Stanley and Beth!
We're really excited to share the names of the peregrine chicks that hatched here at the Cathedral in April. We received LOTS of fantastic suggestions, over 200 in fact! Thank you so much to everyone that sent names in, we genuinely loved them all. We've decided to honour both our wonderful Cathedral and, of course, the Jubilee year had to be marked, so please meet... King John, aka 'Johnny' Prince Arthur Tudor, aka 'Arty' Earl Stanley Baldwin, aka 'Stanley' and, Queen Elizabeth II, aka 'Beth' The cheeky chicks are currently residing at the top of the tower, learning to fend for themselves and making lots of noise!
Peregrines Nest at the Cathedral for the First Time in More Than a Decade
We're delighted to announce four new arrivals!
For the first time since 2010, four peregrine chicks have hatched at the Cathedral. Earlier in the year, a mated pair of peregrines nested, producing four eggs successfully in a nestbox built by the Works Yard team. The chicks hatched in late April and a team of experts from the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) has been monitoring them closely since. Ringers from the BTO have rung the chicks, measured their wing spans, weighed and recorded them on the national database. Each colour ring has a unique letter code so the individual birds can be identified when seen in future as adult birds. Peregrines can live 15 and more years. You can watch a video of the ringing below. The chicks are expected to fledge at around 45-50 days old, so roughly around mid-June. Naming the Chicks HELP! Our Peregrine chicks need names before they fly the nest! Please send your suggestions to email@example.com or send a message on our social channels; the team will then select their four favourite names and announce them in June!
Living Gently On The Earth
Our Eco Group has secured National Lottery funding to deliver 'Living Gently on the Earth': A series of free community events aimed at helping everyone to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle...Take Climate Action Now - Book Tickets
After 2 years of closure, the Tower can now be visited as part of a guided tour on certain Saturdays from April to October 2022 in fine weather, or for pre-booked group visits on other days (please see below).
The Tower had to close, along with the rest of the Cathedral, in March 2020 due to the pandemic.
So, we're really happy to be able to open it up once more.
Individuals can join a tour to the top of the tower on certain Saturdays.
Tickets can be purchased on the day inside the Cathedral at the Welcome desk, close to the main North Door (opposite the High Street).
Tours cost £10* per person and last approximately one hour.
Please arrive at least 10 minutes before the start of the tour.
Tours may use sanitised headsets to enable the group to better hear their guide. Tours are for people aged 10 years and over and each individual child must be accompanied by an adult.
Adult Groups can also pre-book a Tower tour by emailing an enquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org.
These tours cost £10.00* per person and last one hour. An extended tour lasting 1.5 hours, costs £15 per person.
Tours for schools or groups of children can be booked by emailing and enquiry to the Cathedral Learning Team on email@example.com.
The Tower is the Cathedral's third tower. The first fell down in 1175 and the second was taken down because it was unsafe. The present tower was completed in 1374. The stonework internally is 14th century in date, but the exterior of the tower was re-faced in the 19th century as part of the Victorian restoration. The present tower was strengthened in the late 1980's/early 1990's, to ensure it is safe for the next 200 years. During the civil war in 1651, it was said that the future King Charles II viewed the Battle of Worcester from the top of the tower.
On a clear day there are spectacular views over the city centre, River Severn, County cricket ground, Pitchcroft racecourse, Malvern Hills and countryside beyond.
Head over to our 'Visit Us' page for more info!
After 800km and 20 days, Bishop John and H-J have completed their pilgrimage to Santiago De Compostela.
Bishop John has been raising money for the Cathedral, while H-J has been raising funds for the Trussell Trust.
Bishop John has raised a fantastic £3959.77 (£4552.04 with Gift Aid) for the Cathedral - 131% of his £3,000 target!
Bishop John said: "Cycling the 500 miles from the Pyrenees along ‘the Camino’, ‘the Way’ to Santiago has been an amazing experience. We were acutely conscious, as we did it, of the thousands and thousands of people who have made the journey before us. We were encouraged, too, by the very large number of present-day pilgrims from all over Europe and the world we encountered on ‘the Way’ today. It brought home to us the rich heritage of Christian faith we all share. That faith is first referred to as ‘The Way’ in the Acts of the Apostles. I pray that we may all be encouraged to continue on ‘The Way’, the way of life."
We are so grateful to Bishop John for choosing the Cathedral to benefit from his pilgrimage. The money raised will be used in the way he originally asked, to ensure the future of our wonderful Cathedral.
We’d like to thank Bishop John and everyone who made a donation in support of his pilgrimage.
Congratulations to them both!
We are delighted to announce that our Undercroft Learning Centre is once again celebrating award success after scooping the top spot in both the Conservation and Client of the Year categories in the RIBA West Midlands Awards 2022.
An extraordinary exhibition of 12 enormous, embroidered silk panels that explore the story of Creation visited the Cathedral from April - June 2022 as part of its three-year tour to 16 Cathedrals.
Inspired by the poetic verses of Genesis, the first book in the Bible, textile artist Jacqui Parkinson re-imagines this ancient story in a vibrant combination of silk, hand-dyed materials, metallic leathers and gold leaf, miles of thread – and more than eight million stitches!
We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded the A Rocha UK Bronze Eco Church Awards.
Since its formation, the Cathedral Eco Group has been working towards the Eco Church scheme, and this is the first milestone on our journey to becoming an Eco Cathedral.
The overall aim of the Eco Church award scheme is to celebrate the ways that church communities have been engaging with caring for the earth as a key part of our Christian faith.
A Rocha UK (ARUK) is a Christian charity working for the protection and restoration of the natural world and committed to equipping Christians and churches in the UK to care for the environment.
Responding to the biblical mandate to care for the earth, and demonstrating the Christian hope for God’s world, working with churches and Cathedrals through the Eco Church programme.
Now onto Silver!
We are delighted to have been 'Highly Commended' at the Visit Worcestershire Tourism Awards 2022. Thank you so much Visit Worcestershire!
The Quire Reopened for Visiting on Monday 14 March
The East End of the Cathedral had been closed since November 2021, following damage caused by Storm Arwen.
We know how much you missed visiting King John’s tomb and Prince Arthur’s chantry housed in our beautiful Quire, so it is just fantastic that we can once again welcome you to enjoy our wonderful attractions.
We still have a way to go with repair work, and the rest of the East End will remain closed off for now whilst work continues.
Our friendly team will be on hand to welcome and direct you when you arrive at the visitor welcome desk.
The organ pipes have been removed for cleaning off-site and will be reinstalled, hopefully over the summer, so we will need to briefly close the Quire again to accommodate this. Services will remain in the Nave for now, but we will be sourcing a digital organ, with the hope of services returning to the Quire in time for Holy Week.
But for now, please do drop in for a visit and enjoy this glorious space once more...
We can’t wait to see you.
We're celebrating scooping a national award for architectural excellence!
In collaboration with Acanthus Clews Architects, the conversion of the former monastic storage rooms into the new Undercroft Learning Centre provides an innovative and versatile venue for learning and discovery for the whole community.
The Civic Trust Awards scheme was established in 1959 to recognise outstanding architecture, planning and design in the built environment.
In awarding the accolade, the Judges commented on the project: “A challenging and well resolved scheme, the project addressed complicated access to the vault, allowing it to be opened-up and appreciated by a wide audience. Technical challenges associated with archaeology, environmental conditions in the space and ensuring the former monastic refectory cellar maintained its integrity was a colossal task and one that has been expertly executed.”
Camilla Finlay, Director at Acanthus Clews Architects, said: “Receiving this award from the Civic Trust is so important because it is given to projects that demonstrate the highest level of building conservation - this is the level all involved in the project strove to deliver in the conversion of the scheduled Undercroft. The Civic Trust awards also celebrate accessibility and inclusivity which was at the heart of our work in creating a centre for learning in the Undercroft - to provide an invitation that we hope will reach new audiences to come and share the spaces and activities that take place within.”
Our Director of Learning, Daniel Parnell, added: “The aim of the Undercroft project was for the centre to play a decisive role in maintaining the education department’s existing status as a beacon of excellence in educational outreach and a model of best practice.
“We are hugely honoured to be given this award that recognises the uniqueness of the building and the excellence of our education programme coming together to offer a diverse space for use by the whole community.
“It is a brilliant achievement for all involved in the development and delivery of this project. Thanks to National Lottery Heritage Fund and other generous donors, a team of skilled crafts people have created a unique venue and we now have a space for inspiration and discovery, and we are keen to make sure everyone has the chance to use it.
“And thank you to the judging panel for their support in recognising the achievements in creating this space!”
On Thursday 3 March 2022 at 12 noon, the Cathedral's bourdon bell tolled for 10 minutes as an act of solidarity and prayer for Ukraine.
We asked that during this time everyone remained still for a moment of reflection.
We're really pleased to announce plans for fully reopening, following damage caused by Storm Arwen in November last year
During the storm on 27 November 2021, part of a pinnacle from the side of the tower fell through the roof of the north quire aisle.
Since then, visiting and services have been restricted to the nave and the cloister. The east end of the Cathedral has been completely closed, including the quire which houses King John’s tomb - one of our most popular attractions.
We have been displaying a scale replica of the ‘bad’ King’s effigy, previously donated by the British Library, in the south of the nave in recent weeks, but we're counting down the days until we can once again access the real tomb, as well as the chantry of Prince Arthur Tudor (older brother of Henry VIII).
Staff and professional advisers have been hard at work assessing the damage and we are now in a position to share an approximate timeline of repairs, leading to the full reopening of the Cathedral, it is hoped by the end of the summer.
The programme of repairs will comprise three main stages.
January - March
Scaffolding is currently being erected in the quire to facilitate the cleaning of the organ pipes.
The majority of the pipes will be removed (around 3,000 in total!) and taken off-site for cleaning to remove dust.
It is hoped that the east end of the Cathedral, excluding the north quire aisle, will be cleaned and reopened for visiting towards the end of March.
Work will also begin to repair the vault and roof, at the main site of the damage, which will remain sealed off whilst this work is completed. As a result, accessibility will unfortunately be limited to the east end, as the disabled lift and access ramp are housed in this area.
Once the scaffolding is de-rigged, the quire can be thoroughly cleaned and re-opened for services; a temporary digital organ will be installed in the interim.
April - August
When repairs to the vault are complete, scaffolding will once again be erected and the organ pipes reinstalled, resulting in the quire again becoming inaccessible for a short time to facilitate this work.
The third part of the repair work is the carving of the new pinnacle; work which will be largely undertaken by the Cathedral stonemasons. The design of the new pinnacle is currently under discussion and we hope to engage with members of the community to produce a commemorative design marking HM The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee year. It is hoped this work will be completed before the end of 2022.
The Dean of Worcester, the Very Reverend Peter Atkinson, said: “There is good news and bad. Although it is disappointing the repair work will take around six months to complete, it is not unexpected. With buildings of this age, it is the case that when things go wrong, there is no quick fix.
“We are hopeful to be able to stick to the programme of repairs outlined above. However, we are of course reliant on everything going to plan and nothing being thrown up along the way to stall progress. We are cautiously optimistic, advised by our team of experts and contractors, that we will be able to fully reopen the Cathedral by the end of the summer and once again welcome visitors to enjoy our many attractions and services.”
Meet our Carpentry Apprentice, Ewan Pollock...
Meet our Stonemasonry Apprentice, Debbie Branford...
The Revd John Paul Hoskins was installed as a Residentiary Canon and Precentor of Worcester Cathedral on Saturday 29 January in a special service of Evensong.
John Paul joins the Cathedral Chapter from the Diocese of Gloucester, where he was Priest-in-Charge of Winchcombe and will have particular responsibility for the Cathedral’s music and liturgy.
Worcester Cathedral currently has two Residentiary Canons. They are appointed by the Queen and are priests with responsibility alongside the Dean for the spiritual life of the Cathedral. They have day-to-day liturgical, pastoral and preaching duties. They take turns to be ‘Canon-in-Residence’ or duty canon for a week at a time. As members of the Cathedral Chapter, they share in the governance of the Cathedral and are trustees of the Cathedral almshouse, St Oswald’s Hospital.
In addition to these shared duties, each Residentiary Canon has a particular area of responsibility. The Precentor has the responsibility, on behalf of the Chapter, for supervising the liturgy and music of the Cathedral, and working with all those engaged in this important aspect of the Cathedral’s mission.
Among his previous posts John Paul 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 said: “I’m enormously excited to be installed as the new Precentor. Worcester Cathedral has a tremendous history of welcome and worship, with an outstanding musical tradition. I’m hugely privileged to have joined 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 with the installation of John Paul Hoskins as Precentor. He is a very gifted priest with a wealth of relevant experience. We warmly welcome him to the Cathedral community.”
The Dean of Worcester, the Very Reverend Peter Atkinson, said: “We are delighted to welcome John Paul as the new Canon Precentor of the Cathedral. With his pastoral and musical background, John Paul is highly qualified for the post of Precentor, and I’m thrilled that he has joined the Cathedral community.”
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.
A series of grants have been awarded to community-led projects that encourage everyone to get involved.
And our Eco Group aims to do just that! Made up of volunteers from the community who have come together to take positive climate action, the Cathedral Eco Group was instrumental in securing the funding; testament to their passion and commitment to climate action.
These eco warriors will be putting the money to good use and have a number of exciting initiatives to share over the coming months. So please, follow us, share and watch this space for details on how you can join in and stand #togetherforourplanet!
We are really excited to be finalists in the Visit Worcestershire Tourism Awards Large Visitor Attraction Category.
The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony at Stanbrook Abbey in March.
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 and the shop and cafe are open as usual.
Our team of experts has conducted 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 as our team works on temporary protections and cleaning of the local area.
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 carried out investigations, and the Cathedral bells and clock chimes were silenced whilst these investigations took place. Both have now been reinstated.
The nave and cloister are 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, but hope that you will understand the difficulties we face over the coming months.
The Cathedral Reopened on Monday 29 November 2021 After Suffering Extensive Damage During 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."
We were 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."
Worcester Cathedral among 142 historic sites across England to 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 look after them.
Worcester's Bellringers Join nationwide Call for Churches to Ring Out Ahead of the UN Climate Conference in Glasgow
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
Visitors 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’ - made up of Sculptor, Peter Walker, and Composer, David Harper.
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!
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.
The bells were heard across the city in tribute to our NHS heroes
In case you missed it, 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.”
Press Releases & Notices
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