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Canterbury Cathedral restoration
By Hamish Reid
BBC Kent

Repairing the roof of Canterbury Cathedral
The roof replacement was one of the first projects to be completed

The campaign to raise £50m for vital repairs to Canterbury Cathedral is attracting national attention.

The All Party Heritage and Arts Committee travelled from Westminster on a fact finding visit.

They hope to bring pressure to bear on government to find more funds for the cathedral.

So far, the south east transept has been re-roofed, half of the east end corona has been refurbished, and stone work repairs are ongoing.

It's not so much the grand total, it's the ability to produce funds on a regular basis so we can keep the flow of work going.
Brigadier John Meardon, Receiver General

The Cathedral building has had a turbulent history since St Augustine, sent by Pope Gregory the Great, established his seat in Canterbury in 597 AD. The Cathedral has been visited by thousands of pilgrims since the death, in 1170 of Thomas Becket, the then Archbishop.

The 20th century saw perhaps more damage done to the building than any other period in its history, and now work is underway to repair and restore the Cathedral to its former glory.

The cathedral survived largely intact the ravages of World War II. In spite of the damage done to the surrounding areas of the city, the Cathedral was largely untouched.

A team of Fire Wardens ensured, through their vigilance, that the largely wooden roof of the building never caught fire.

Canterbury Cathedral under repair
Much of the building is now covered by scaffolding and tarpaulins

The Cathedral employs a large group of skilled artisans how are continually working to maintain the structure of the building.

The outer skin of the building is always subject to repair and renewal to repair damage caused by our wet climate, although some of the original medieval stonework is still in place.

In 2006, a fundraising appeal was launched to raise £50m to Save Canterbury Cathedral.

Brigadier John Meardon is the Receiver General for Canterbury Cathedral told BBC Kent: "We are now just over £9 million, it's not so much the grand total, it's the ability to produce funds on a regular basis so we can keep the flow of work going. "Originally we had a 10 year plan, but realistically we are looking at a continuous programme with peaks and troughs which will go on year on year on," he said.




SEE ALSO
New cathedral roof
18 Dec 08 |  England


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