Manchester Cathedral invest in green heating scheme

  • News
  • 5 March 2013

Manchester Cathedral will be in the hands of contractors from 3 April until the end of November to install a new green heating scheme. The new ground source heat pumps will use natural energy stored in the earth to heat and cool the cathedral, making it one of the greenest in the UK. Activities that usually take place in the nave area of the Cathedral will transfer to the wooden ‘Cathedral on the Street’ on the west front of the Cathedral. Some services will transfer to St Ann’s Church and other nearby churches in the diocese.

The current under-floor heating system dates from the post war rebuilding era of the 1950s. In the last 5 years there have been three incidents of the heating flooding the Cathedral floor, as a result the heating output now is around 60% of the levels they should be.

The Very Reverend Rogers Govender, Dean of Manchester said “levels of heat are very important for both visitors and worshippers alike. The recent extremely cold winters have embarrassed the Cathedral as temperatures were unacceptably low. We’re incredibly pleased that we can carry out this work in a sustainable and responsible way, ensuring the Cathedral is fit for future”

The project necessitates the replacement of all the flooring to the Nave, Quire aisles and Regimental, Fraser and Lady Chapels of the Cathedral. The existing floor finishes have all been assessed by Clare Hartwell of Architectural History Practice, and all areas to be replaced were found to be of low significance.

Manchester Cathedral has also carried out investigations into likely archaeological disturbance with Norman Redhead, Cathedral Archaeologist, and have drawn up methods to deal with any discoveries during the work.

The proposed new heating system has been developed over the past two years by the Cathedral Architect, John Prichard, who has worked closely with Tim Bowden of Ramboll.

Prior to this work commencing a temporary structure - ‘Cathedral on the Street’ - will be erected outside the West door of the Cathedral on Victoria Street. The Cathedral’s Sunday morning services will be held here, together with other major services and events.