Our major Cathedral Restoration Project has now begun. Contractors from Simpsons of York are setting up the cathedral site for the coming external works. The restoration works are part of a masterplan ahead of the 175th Anniversary of the Dedication of the Cathedral in 2023. The project aims to revive the iconic splendour of this church whilst making it the most sustainable cathedral in the country. You can read more about Phase 1 of the Cathedral Restoration Project below.

Timelapse of Phase 1 Works from September 2022 – January 2023

Works Carried Out Since 2016

The restored WWI Memorial Chapel

The Cathedral is a Grade II* Listed Building and its restoration masterplan incorporates the limitations this can result in. The plan also evidences the way in which we have grown to understand historical buildings in a different way over the last few decades. Those involved in the Cathedral Restoration Project are learning to work with the building to enhance the fabric and reintroduce some of the lost aspects of the cathedral, restoring its former glory.

Working with architects Arrol and Snell, the decision of what needed to be completed first came after a quinquennial survey of the building. The first stage of the project was been made possible by a two grants from the First World War Centenary Cathedral Repairs Fund, allowing for a full restoration of our very special WWI Memorial Chapel in 2016. A later award of £373,000 allowed crucial roof repairs to take place and a further £180,000 allowed us to create an alternative entrance (the north door) and piazza, improving accessibility.

As a result of these awards 2018 saw the reroofing of North Isle of the Cathedral, significant repair to stonework and new flashings, ridge tiles and gutters installed. Crucial to this first phase of work was incorporating access to the roof so that it is easier to maintain the fabric of the structure in the future. On 28 November 2021, we announced our plan for a full restoration. You can read about this here.

Restoration Phase 1: External Works (September 2022)

Proposed cathedral external lighting scheme

Phase 1 of the Cathedral Restoration Project has now begun.

Simpsons of York have been chosen to undertake both Phase 1 (external works) and Phase 2 (internal works). The contractors are now on site, the scaffolding is up and masonry work has begun.

A contractor traces the stained-glass windows in preparation for double-glazing.

The first phase of the restoration works will focus on the exterior of the cathedral, which will involve a complete re-roof, the re-pointing of the stonework and other masonry repairs, as well as remedial works to the tower and spire. During the initial part of phase one, the cathedral will remain open. However, at times, there may be some disruption to the cathedral’s daily schedule, but this will be kept to a minimum when possible.

One of the boards detailing Phase 1 works currently on display in the cathedral

Phase 1 concerns external repairs and restoration works, including:

  • The refurbishment of the roof and the introduction of insulation below the new roofs.
  • Structural repairs and improvements to the tower.
  • Repair and replacement of the external walls, windows, doors, and rainwater goods.

The window glazing and lighting will also be improved throughout this phase:

  • The introduction of secondary glazing to all windows in the Cathedral.
  • New external lighting.

Restoration Phase 2: Internal Works (April 2023)

Phase 2 of our Cathedral Restoration will begin in April 2023, and will involve the restoration of the cathedral’s interior. This will include a  During this second phase, the sacramental and devotional life of the cathedral will be accommodated in a temporary church, located in the cathedral gardens.

The works will include:

  • Reordering of the cathedral, including relocating the altar.

The altar will be relocated near its original position under the Tower Crossing. This will help restore the original splendour and ambience of the space.

  • Additional seating for our increasing congregation.
  • Redecoration of the cathedral to restore original design features that have been lost over the years.

The Journey Continues

The re-ordering, repair and restoration project will not only restore the Cathedral’s heritage and sense of the sacred space but will maximise capacity for the growing parish community and visitors alike. It is an opportunity to the look to the future of the Cathedral and as part of the process we will provide space for the growing congregation and a flourishing music programme.

If you have any questions or comments about the Cathedral Restoration Project, please email: