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VIDEO: Work planned to transform Cathedral’s big black hole

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Builders need not pack up their tools when they have finished the last few jobs at Wakefield Cathedral because a new restoration project is on the cards.

Cathedral officials are in the process of bidding for Heritage Lottery Funding to transform the East end of the building, which was not part of the Project 2013 scheme to refurbish the nave.

The Dean of Wakefield, the Very rev Jonathan Greener, said: “Since having the nave done, we have realised how much better and more useable the Cathedral is.

“The east end wasn’t touched as part of the last scheme, now looks like a big black hole and is screaming out to be done.

“The lighting and heating in that part of the building date back to the 1930s and the last thing we want is a leak or fire caused by it.”

Mr Greener said the netx phase, the Rediscovering our Heritage scheme, won’t be as drastic as Project 2013.

He said: “We agreed that if we took the pews out of the nave, then the fabric of the east end of the building would be left as it is, and simply improved with new lighting, flooring, heating and the cleaning up fo the stone work.”

He said he was very excited about what the work on the quire and the crypt area, might reveal. He said: “In the nave we discovered stone carvings near the ceiling, which had been hidden away under lots of dirt and a beautiful painting of an angel, so hopefully the next phase will reveal even more gems.”

It is hoped the £2.2m scheme, will get underway in 2015.

The Express reported in July that the 125-year-old Wakefield Diocese will be scrapped next year, making the cathedral one of three in a newly created diocese serving West Yorkshire and the Dales.

It will replace the current dioceses of Wakefield, Bradford and Ripon and Leeds, making their bishops redundant.

Mr Greener said getting the next phase of the work done was vital in helping to safeguard long-term funding for Wakefield Cathedral from the Church of England.

He said: “We need to show them that we are worth funding.”

As well as being a place for worship, the cathedral offers a range of education opportunities, outreach work, music and a venue.

He said: “We need to up our game and we are lucky that we have staff, clergy and volunteers, who are willing to go the extra mile, so we can continue to offer the same and more.”

There are plans to open a youth cafe at Treacy hall from September.

 

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