Shocked and disappointed by recent cathedral renovations

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Sheffield Cathedral Chancel dates back to 1430 and is the city’s oldest medieval building still in use. Other parts were built in the 16th century and changes were made after the Second World War. The west end lantern tower was added in 1960.

I visited Sheffield Cathedral last week for the first time in over a year. I was shocked and horrified at the terrible destruction and desecration of this beautiful church. I refer to the stone floor, the pews and other woodwork. Why were the beautiful historic pieces removed and replaced by modern rubbish? The originals would have lasted centuries more.

Where else has the floor of an ancient church been replaced? Take York Minster or St Paul’s Cathedral, no-one would think to remove their ancient floors. The floor holds the secrets of millions of visitors, has the indentations and undulations caused by countless feet over centuries and inscriptions over the same period. How could such heritage be removed?

The modern and simplistic renovations do not sit well with the craftsmanship and art in the rest of the building. Why does Sheffield seek to destroy what is not new and modern? We need to learn from this tragic mistake and prevent it happening further in the Cathedral, across Sheffield and in our fine country. I would also like to know who made the decision to develop and refurbish. I assume it was the trustees being the body responsible for spending the money. It could have been spent on renovating the ancient parts in a tasteful manner. Also I would like to know where the pews and the stone floor went. Is the floor being kept somewhere or was it destroyed, given away or even sold?

I am extremely disappointed and upset by these renovations and can’t express this enough.

Eric Harrison

Sheffield, S8