*** DEBUG START ***
*** DEBUG END ***
Important information: We are currently experiencing technical issues with the webiste and it is currently running with reduced functionality, some category pages may not contain a full list of articles and the search is not currently working. We apologise for the inconvenience and should have everything back to normal as soon as possible.

Blackburn Cathedral verger is hospitalised after assault

09 January 2015

ANGELO HORNAK/BLACKBURN CATHEDRAL

A SUSTAINED assault has left the head verger of Blackburn Cathedral with two broken ribs, elbow injuries requiring surgery, and lesions to the head.

Mark Pickering, the Dean's Verger, was "repeatedly hit and kicked" on Monday afternoon, the Dean, the Rt Revd Christopher Armstrong, confirmed on Wednesday.

Another member of staff intervened, and the police were called. A 24-year-old man, who was known to the cathedral team, was later arrested and has been sectioned under the Mental Health Act.

"It is very rare to have an attack of this violence," Dean Armstrong said. "I have not known anything like this in my 14 years at the cathedral. But cathedrals are public places, and all sorts of people gather and visit for a variety of reasons. We would not want to stop that, but we have to protect our staff."

Current security arrangements were "adequate", he said, but there would be a review in the wake of the attack.

Mr Pickering, who is 36, and has a young family, has worked at the cathedral for 12 years. The Dean said that he had a "huge reputa- tion locally and nationally as being a sympathetic and caring person".

He said: "I would like to pay tribute to the vergers of all cathedrals and places of worship, because they really are frontline troops in an increasingly difficult situation."

Forthcoming Events

29 September 2020
Festival of Preaching
A one-day online version of our popular preaching festival. With Mark Oakley, Sam Wells and Anna Carter Florence.   Book tickets

 

19 October 2020
Creativity out of crisis: Hymns and worship webinar
In association with RSCM, this online event will explore creative uses music and liturgy in the context online and socially distanced worship.    Book tickets

Welcome to the Church Times

​To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)