14th Dec, 2017

Work starts to protect cathedral's iconic Chapel of Unity

Steve Carpenter 2nd Apr, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

WORK is underway to help protect and maintain the city’s iconic Chapel of Unity inside Coventry Cathedral, following years of damage.

The circular chapel, located on Saint Michael’s Avenue, was created as a space where all Christians could come to worship together and it’s circular shape resembles a crusader tent.

It is covered in distinctive Westmoreland stone slates but in recent years some of these have become loose., Now scaffolding has been erected in one of its bays as work begins to find a long-term solution to protect its unique and colourful exterior.

“The Chapel was consecrated in 1962 and since then has become an iconic building due to the aqua/grey colour of the stone it’s clad in,” explained Tony Auty, Director of Property and Fabric.

“In recent years the slates have become loose and the challenge that we have now is to find a solution to safely fix the stone slates to the concrete exterior, make sure that this restoration work is not visible and locate similar colour stone to replace slates that are too damaged to be rehung.”

The project is being funded by a grant from the World War One initiative funded by the government and administered via Churchcare. Initially it was hoped the grant would cover the restoration cost, but the extent of the project was later revealed.

Now Churchcare has agreed its funding could be used to explore options for a long-term solution.

Cathedral architect Kelley Christ added: “It’s a complex project and we are working in partnership with the Cathedral Fabric Commission for England (CFCE) and our funders Churchcare, to ensure that the solution is one which will provide stability for the slates in the long-term.”

Once the project is complete, the cathedral team will have a conservation plan.

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