Immensely Fragile – Cathedrals Call for National Fund

17th April 2019

Cathedrals call for a national fund following devastating fire at Notre Dame.

The pain we have experienced watching the fire at Notre Dame has been all too keen – it brought back memories of the last fire at one of our cathedrals, this was in 1984 at York Minster and that was due to a lightning strike. But it doesn’t mean it won’t, or can’t happen here again, and we have to be alive to that fact.

Many of our cathedrals are immensely fragile and require the very best of our efforts to preserve them and keep them safe.

What we need is sustained investment in our cathedrals; investment that keeps them safe and that comes from a regular fund for our daily maintenance.

We benefited hugely from the Government’s WW1 fund – and that was fine for major projects – but that alone is not enough.

We need a national response involving many partners. Our cathedrals are often amongst the oldest and largest buildings in our cities and amongst the most loved. And any fire has the potential to be devastating.

Our cathedrals are one of our country’s greatest assets and at the heart of our history, our culture and our social fabric, and a testament to our faith.

None of us want to see those harrowing images again. Let us never forget this tragedy by ensuring we are in a better position to protect our own national treasures; and that means regular funding to be able to maintain these wonderful buildings, to protect them and their contents, for all our future generations and the wellbeing of the present one.

We would be a much poorer country and people without them.

Statement from the Dean of Lichfield, the Very Revd Adrian Dorber on behalf of the Association of English Cathedrals.