Monday, 24 November 2008

An appeal for help

Now for something completely different! The Cathedral is a magnificent building and many people comment on how attractive it is. Much work goes on behind the scenes to ensure that it is worthy of its name, and barely a week goes by without some maintenance or repair work taking place. On the Blog we normally try to show images of the Cathedral at its best; today, however, we highlight some of the areas needing attention, as part of a drive to make the church look at its best for next year's 150th anniversary.

There are now a number of places where paint is peeling fairly badly. This image is from the north transept, which is now in need of complete repainting. The south transept was repainted a few years ago, but the cost - as a result of the need for scaffolding - runs into many thousands of pounds.

It is a particular shame that the Lady Chapel has suffered - the peeling paint here detracts from the fine decoration elsewhere in the chapel.

The height of the Cathedral poses particular problems with funding repair work. Here one of the chandeliers is out as a result of some electrical problems. Unfortunately the work requires scaffolding; it is hoped that the repair will be carried out over the next few days, but there will be a hefty bill.

Around the apse there are some very rare - perhaps even unique - paintings. Their interest lies in the fact that they are painted on linoleum, which was manufactured locally in the nineteenth century. A conservation expert who visited the Cathedral some time ago was unsure of how restoration work might be done, but the need, as can be seen in this picture, is very urgent.

Some of the stained glass windows also need attention. On this window (again, at a considerable height) there is a hole just above and to the right of the head. Although the Cathedral is structurally very sound, the work that needs to be done is always greater than our financial means allow. Hopefully at least some of these areas of work can be completed before the anniversary next year. From today visitors to the Cathedral's website can make donations online, so that those who cannot be physically present but support the Cathedral's work may offer help as we seek to make this House of God ever more worthy of His presence. If you'd like to know more about helping the Cathedral, or would like to make a donation, please click here.