Duke of Gloucester celebrates Lady Chapel with Lichfield Cathedral
16th March 2015
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Over 700 guests descended onto the Cathedral on Tuesday (10th March) to attend a special service of thanksgiving and rededication, in the presence of HRH The Duke of Gloucester, who has supported the project since its launch in 2008.  The service was an uplifting event which brought together everybody who has helped to fund the project, and everyone who worked hard to restore the chapel. The service ended with HRH meeting those most closely associated with the repair of the chapel and the conservation of the glass, and signing the Cathedral’s Official Visitors Book. Isabella Holder and Ranulf Prentis, pupils of Lichfield Cathedral School, presented HRH with a gift, a collage of images taken from the Herkenrode Glass. 

A significant part of this work has been the removal, conservation and re-installation of the famous Herkenrode Glass. The glass is considered to be one of Europe’s greatest artistic treasures, and was installed in Lichfield in 1803 when it was rescued from destruction during the Napoleonic Wars. Having withstood centuries of weather and pollution, emergency action was needed to rescue it once again and the race began to save the Lady Chapel and its priceless Renaissance glass. The glass was removed in 2010 and taken to Barley Studio where the five-year renovation project commenced. 

The whole project comprised renewing and repairing stonework in the South and North Choir aisles, replacing some of  the external stonework of the Lady Chapel, removing the Herkenrode glass to safe storage, installing clear isothermal glazing, the conservation and re-installation of  the glass, the renewal of fabrics including kneelers, cushions, hangings, and the altar frontal. All this has been funded thanks to the generosity of donors: trusts, foundations and individuals. 

The Very Revd Adrian Dorber, Dean of Lichfield, says: “It was a very fitting celebration marking the end of a significant chapter in Cathedral history. It provided an opportunity to bring together many people who’ve had an interest in the repair of the Lady Chapel, and many who’ve been generous contributors. It won’t be a day I quickly forget.”           


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Louie C

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