Cathedral vaccination centre soothes jab nerves with a little organ music

95-year-old Louis Godwin, a former RAF flight sergeant and Lancaster tail gunner, being interviewed by the BBC after his jab at the cathedral.(Photo: Facebook/Salisbury Cathedral)

Salisbury Cathedral has welcomed in the first members of the public to receive the Covid-19 vaccine in the stunning surroundings of the 800-year-old building.

The cathedral has even offered to play the organ as patients receive their jab. 

Cathedral organist John Challenger said he would be playing Handel's "Largo" among other pieces.

The Very Rev Nicholas Papadopulos, Dean of Salisbury, said: "We are proud to be playing our part in the life-saving vaccination programme, which offers real hope in these difficult times.

"Staff of our local NHS and their patients will receive a warm welcome to their cathedral, and we assure them of our constant prayer."

The cathedral is working with the Sarum South Primary Care Network to offer its space as a vaccination centre for the region. 

The network's co-clinical director, Dr Dan Henderson, said it was great to be expanding the vaccination programme in Wiltshire.

"This marks another step towards getting our lives back to normal," he said.

"I understand that people are keen to get their jabs but please don't call your doctor or the hospital asking about when you will get an appointment, we are following the priority order set out by the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation and the NHS will be in touch when it is your turn to be vaccinated.

"The huge vaccine programme is a marathon, not a sprint, but we will get to everyone."