Cathedral life in Wakefield is slowly getting back to normal today after power was restored following a small electrical fire in the organ blower room on Tuesday which closed down the Grade I listed building for three days.
Throughout the closure, worship continued in the Education Room on Westmoreland Street and a temporary prayer station area was created for people who wanted to come and light candles.
The acting Dean, sub Dean Canon Tony Macpherson, said: “I am very proud of the Cathedral team and the way in which they reacted to the emergency at lunchtime on Tuesday. The Cathedral was evacuated very quickly and the Fire Service was directed to the site of the fire and extinguished it promptly.
“Since then staff have worked very hard in cold and dark conditions to begin the clean up. The organ will be out of action until at least next week but thankfully it is not damaged.
“So we look forward to a full Holy Week programme and to hosting the Chrism Eucharist on Maundy Thursday, "he added.
Canon Tony said that despite its closure, over 100 people had still come to the Cathedral each day to offer prayers and light candles at a temporary prayer station set up by Cathedral staff.
“Wakefield Cathedral serves as a focus of prayer for all who wish to come close to God and we are pleased that we have been able to continue this ministry in the last few days,” he added.
The Cathedral reopened fully today (Friday) with Cathedral Kitchen offering free cake with tea and coffee; the choir practice was due to go ahead as normal for boys and girls in the Song Room, and the advertised services for Saturday and Sunday will go ahead as scheduled, including the Bishop of Wakefield, Bishop Tony Robinson's Lenten Prayers on Saturday.
Bishop Tony will be in the Cathedral from 10am -3pm on Saturday as part of an open invitation from the six bishops to the parishes to join them in a time of prayer as part of a Holy Lent of Loving. Living. Learning. He will lead a short liturgy for anyone who would like to join him on each hour.
Cathedral staff have advised worshippers and visitors to wear an extra layer for the next couple of days as it might take a few days for the nave to get back up to temperature.
Guest preacher for Holy Week will be the Rt Revd John Pritchard (former Bishop of Oxford) whose theme is ‘The Shadow of the Cross’. He’ll be at the Cathedral from Sunday 25 March through to Easter Day.