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Architect sets course to repair and enhance Cathedral

A team of craftsmen is busy at the Cathedral of St John the Baptist, carrying out essential repairs. Suzi Pendlebury, the Cathedral Architect, reports.

In our 2020 building Inspection, my team found many things in the building that needed repairs. The Diocese applied for grants and we were most fortunate – receiving money from Historic England and the Cultural Recovery Fund to tackle some of those of greatest urgency this winter.

The craftsmen are busy on three strands of work – repairing the gutters to the North Transept roof, replacing the stolen rainwater downpipes (along with adding greater security measures to help keep us and the Cathedral buildings safe) and replacing electrical circuits that have reached the end of their service life.

Over the last few weeks, the electrical power has been turned off from time to time and temporary access towers have appeared in the Cathedral, so that the team may safely reach the higher levels.

This begins a campaign of maintenance, care and conservation and we will be looking to raise more money in the coming months to address the building’s needs, one at a time.

Alongside roofs and gutters, we seek to repair the glorious windows to the St Joseph’s Chapel (from the Cathedral Garden you can see how these are buckling) and to progress a wonderful lighting design with Canon Paul, Fr Simon and Daniel Justin, the Director of Music, to improve the illumination so people will be able enjoy this inspirational and sacred space more fully.

Pictured above is a workman at St John’s Cathedral