Minster damage sparks concern

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CHURCH leaders are facing another fundraising campaign after heavy masonry plunged from Doncaster minster, causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.

One of the decorative top pieces from the highest tower at the 19th century landlmark, plunged around 160ft, causing damage to two roof sections.

It split a grave stone as it crashed to the ground on Tuesday evening.

The stone feature, known as a finials, dislodged from the South West corner of the tower on and damaged the nave and south porch roofs before landing in the grounds.

Now there are plans for a new appeal to fix and and restore the church.

Canon Paul Shackerley, Vicar of Doncaster Minster, says it is too early to calculate the costs and the cause is unknown. But vandalism has been ruled out.

The south entrance to the minster and the surrounding south pathway has been closed as a safety precaution after the incident, but the minster building remains open for worship and visitors as normal.

Canon Shackerley said: “It is sad to witness the ornate carvings of one of South Yorkshire’s greatest Gothic architectures falling from the building. We are positively seeking solutions to the damage.”

“The minster has embarked on an exciting new vision and recently appointed a new Fund Raiser and Development Officer, in partnership with English Heritage, for the long term restoration and reordering of the minster as part of our strategy to raise significant funds for long term sustainability.

“The minster team and I remain dedicated and committed custodians of this magnificent church for everyone to enjoy, worship in, and meet to celebrate the parades and festivals of the borough in the years to come. It is unfortunate this unexpected damage has come at a time when we are considering the long term fund raising strategy for the minster.”

The current minster was opened in 1858, designed by George Gilbert Scott.