Cathedrals at the Heart of the Fight

11th November 2020

We pray every day for our nation and community especially for the healing the sick and protecting the vulnerable.

It’s only right we offer our cathedrals as the practical means for those prayers to be answered.

Dean of Lichfield, the Very Reverend Adrian Dorber

Cathedrals are preparing to open their doors as Covid-19 vaccination centres to be at the heart of the fight against the pandemic across the country.

Lichfield and Blackburn cathedrals are among Church of England cathedrals which have offered their buildings up to local health providers to help with the mass planned vaccination programme against Covid-19 to protect the vulnerable and keep people safe. Both Lichfield and Blackburn are currently in talks to arrange facilities and appropriate dates and times.

The Dean of Lichfield, the Very Reverend Adrian Dorber said:

“The roll out of this new vaccine to immunise us against Covid-19 infection is the best news of the year. We want to offer the Cathedral nave here at Lichfield as a big space that can safely and securely house local vaccination programmes and enable speedy delivery to those most at risk”.

Guildford Cathedral was turned into a drive-through clinic last month to immunise 800 local people against this year’s influenza and is among other cathedrals that have offered their buildings as safe spaces for vaccination programmes..

Blackburn with Darwen local authority area has seen the second highest coronavirus infection figures in the country after Oldham and has been in local lockdown since July. Blackburn Cathedral has worked hard to play its part in supporting those more vulnerable in the community throughout the pandemic.

Blackburn Cathedral offered its services to the local authorities in March and is currently in talks with the local health care provider and could become a vaccination centre as soon as December.

The Dean of Blackburn, the Very Revd Peter Howell Jones said:

“At the heart of the Christian faith is love and hospitality, and a God that cares for all people.

“It is only right we offer our building as a safe and accessible space for this exciting inoculation plan and be prepared to serve the nation in these times of deep uncertainty and fear.”

If the plan at Blackburn goes ahead, the local health care provider, Healthier Lancashire and South Cumbria will turn the Undercroft and Crypt area of the city centre landmark into a vaccination centre for an estimated 12- 14 month period from December. This will enable it to offer vaccinations 12 hours a day, seven days a week to up to 1,700 people per week.