DELIGHTED Cathedral chiefs have been able to reopen the Quire for visiting as work to repair the damage caused by Storm Arwen in November continues apace.
During the storm, part of a pinnacle from the side of the tower fell through the roof of the north quire aisle.
Since then, visiting and services have been restricted to the nave and the cloister. The east end of the Cathedral has been completely closed, including the quire which houses King John’s tomb – one of the Cathedral’s most popular attractions.
It was thought the area could be out of action until April at the earliest but scaffolding has also now come down in the Quire as all of the organ pipes have now been removed for cleaning off site.
While visitors can sample the delights of the Quire, the remainder of the East End of the landmark will remain closed for now whilst work continues.
Services will remain in the Nave for now, but Cathedral chiefs will be sourcing a digital organ, with the hope of services returning to the Quire in time for Holy Week.
It’s hoped all of the work will be completed by the end of the summer and will comprise three main stages.
Work will begin to repair the vault in the coming months and roof, at the main site of the damage, which will remain sealed off whilst this work is completed.
Once the scaffolding is de-rigged, the quire can be thoroughly cleaned and re-opened for services; a temporary digital organ will be installed in the interim.
From April, scaffolding will once again be erected and the organ pipes reinstalled, resulting in the quire again becoming inaccessible for a short time to facilitate this work.
The third part of the repair work is the carving of the new pinnacle; work which will be largely undertaken by the Cathedral stonemasons.
Dean of Worcester, the Very Reverend Peter Atkinson, said: “There is good news and bad. Although it is disappointing the repair work will take around six months to complete, it is not unexpected. With buildings of this age, it is the case that when things go wrong, there is no quick fix.”