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Grant could help old cathedral's crypt to reopen.

REPAIRS on the drainage system at Coventry's old cathedral ruins might eventually enable the Church to reopen the doors to its rarely-seen crypt.

The two crypt chapels - Wiley Chapel and the Chapel of the Cross - were used by the cathedral's congregation for worship after the Blitz up until the new cathedral was finished.

But recent drainage problems have meant the chapel doors have remained locked because water seeps down to them from the ruins and damages stone work and electrics.

But after a pounds 38,000 grant from English Heritage, work has begun on fixing the surface-water drains.

The cathedral trust's development director, Michael Mogan, said: "Many people would not even know that the chapels existed, but they were used for prayer during the period between cathedrals and they are very symbolic and important to us and the city.

"There will be people in Coventry who remember praying in the chapels, they have a great deal of historic and spiritual importance, so we are delighted that English Heritage has helped us with this grant."

When the leaks are fixed, the chapels will need to be plastered, have lights installed and stone work carried out before they can reopen. About pounds 12,500 more is needed to pay for the work.

Mr Mogan is appealing to the community to help raise the extra cash. Phone 024 7652 1209 for details.


WHAT A DAMPENER: Above, Michael Mogan (left) with clerk of works Paul Melia in the Chapel of the Cross and, left, Mr Melia inpects the source of the the problem. Pictures: LISA CAREY
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jan 30, 2004
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