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Cash for cathedral repairs.

Byline: Michael Race Reporter

ST Nicholas Cathedral, in Newcastle, has been granted PS155,000 as part of a fund which was set up to mark 100 years since the start of the First World War.

The cash is to be used to make repairs within the Grade I-Listed building, so it can be preserved and made available to everyone.

The cathedral was granted the money from a fund committed by Chancellor George Osborne, who made PS20m for English cathedral renovations. It was thought that cathedrals would be natural focal points for reflection and remembrance. Canon John Sadler, who coordinates development, said the funds will help to refurbish the building, focusing on the Thomlinson library, where the choir school is housed.

He said: "To get the funds to repair the Thomlinson library is great as the aim is to get the cathedral in good shape for the World War One commemorations, which are very important to us.

"The problem is that the roof of one section of the cathedral where the choir school is housed is in very poor shape.

"The choir is a vital part of our services and by repairing the roof we can attract more members to join, particularly young people.

"The roof is made of lead and is the main priority of the funding.

"We are pleased that has been made possible to repair and preserve a major part of the cathedral."

But it's not just the roof that is being given a facelift - protective measures are also being taken to preserve the story-telling stained glass windows.

The windows describe what life in Newcastle was like before it became a city, but some sections of the art work have been vandalised.

Canon Sadler said: "The stained glass windows are a brilliant way to tell stories to the people of Newcastle about what it was like hundreds of years ago before it was a city.

"So it was high on our list to make sure we could protect them so that they can be preserved for everyone to see.

"We want to develop the cathedral and make it a place where everyone finds they can enter, feel welcome and we hope the repairs can help us to continue to develop."

Most of the cathedral's features date from the 14th and 15th Centuries, although the earliest surviving sections dates back to around 1175.

Originally a parish church, St Nicholas was named as a cathedral in 1882.

Now Cannon Sadler wants to develop the cathedral's legacy for future generations.

He added: "From my perspective, it's very exciting for me that we can continue to develop the cathedral and this is the next step on what is quite a big programme.

"My role is very much to coordinate the development process and by getting funding it has allowed the cathedral to celebrate its heritage."


The Tomlinson library used by the choirs at St Nicholas Cathedral will be renovated thanks to a Government grant TIM MCGUINNESS

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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Oct 27, 2014
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