A LARGE part of Manchester Cathedral is to close for eight
months, in a bid to remedy the building's "unhealthy" chill.
From next Easter, services will move to a temporary structure
outside the cathedral, while a state-of-the-art geothermal heating
system is installed in the nave and the adjoining regimental
chapel. The Dean, the Very Revd Rogers Govender, said: "We should
be able to handle around half of our normal capacity congregation
The cathedral has increasingly been used as a concert venue, and
for award ceremonies and formal dinners. "The heating in the nave
is 40 years old," Dean Govender said. "The pipes of the underfloor
heating need replacing, but we have first to break up the 18 inches
of concrete on top of them.
"Then we are going green with this new, innovative ground-source
heating system, using geothermal technology, which would supplement
the heat provided by the existing boilers."
Proposals for the work have been sent to the Cathedrals Fabric
Commission, and the Chapter has discussed planning requirements
with Manchester City Council. The Dean hopes that the go-ahead will
be given in January. He declined to give a price for the work. "We
have a sum in mind, but are about to go out to tender. We will be
appealing to the public for contributions, and applying for
The social-enterprise company Create, which was operating the
café in the cathedral's Visitor Centre, has ceased trading. The
cathedral is currently considering the options for the use of the
Cathedral conservation. Grants of almost £1
million have been awarded for 21 projects at 17 English cathedrals.
Ten payments, totalling £645,000, from the Cathedral Fabric Repair
Fund, include £100,000 each to Gloucester, Hereford, and Worcester,
and £90,000 to Lincoln, all for repairs to roofs and walls.
The fund is a partnership between the Wolfson Foundation, the
Pilgrim Trust, and the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England,
which, over the past three years, has awarded more than £1.8
million for essential works to keep cathedrals weatherproof.
Frank Field MP, who chairs the Fabric Commission, said: "One of
the most significant aspects of these grants is that we have
included a number of cathedrals for which fund-raising is less
easy, and also several with innovative solutions to problems posed
by 20th-century materials and climate change."
The grants include £30,000 for work on the copper roofs at
Guildford; and awards totalling £236,000 for work on Coventry
Cathedral, Pershore Abbey, Southwell Minster, and Bradford
A further six grants, totalling £71,000, are being offered by
the fund for the conservation of artworks and historic furnishings
to Derby, Coventry, Exeter, Salisbury, and Wakefield Cathedrals.
They include £30,000 for the restoration of the organ at Exeter;
and £30,000 for a feasibility study for the conservation of the
1962 Graham Sutherland tapestry, Christ in Glory, at
The full list of grants is:
Cathedral Fabric Repair Fund
Chester £40,000; Gloucester £100,000; Guildford £30,000;
Hereford £100,000; Leicester £16,000; Lincoln £90,000; Peterborough
£28,000; St Edmundsbury £50,000; Southwark £91,000; and Worcester
Cathedral Amenities Fund
Bradford £46,000; Coventry £80,000; Pershore Abbey £20,000;
Southwell £80,000; Worcester £10,000.
Conservation of Artworks and Historic
Coventry £30,000; Derby £3660; Exeter £30,000; Salisbury £5000;
and Wakefield £2340.