Lichfield Cathedral opens its doors as Covid vaccination centre

One of the first people to receive the Covid-19 vaccination at Lichfield Cathedral.(Photo: Facebook/Lichfield Cathedral)

Lichfield Cathedral opened its doors on Friday as a Covid-19 vaccination centre.

Cathedral staff are working in partnership with the Lichfield Primary Care Network to offer the jabs as part of the Government's effort to vaccinate 15 million people by mid-February. 

The cathedral was quick to step forward as a possible vaccination hub when news of a vaccine breakthrough first made headlines last summer. 

The Very Rev Adrian Dorber, Dean of Lichfield, said the cathedral wanted to do all it could to serve the community. 

"The rollout of these new vaccines to immunise us against Covid-19 was the best news of 2020," he said.

"We want to offer this cathedral nave as a big space that can safely and securely house local vaccination programmes and enable speedy delivery to those most at risk."

He said the cathedral was an ideal setting to offer vaccinations, with plenty of space to maintain social distancing and provide a one-way system from entrance to exit, as well as step-free access and accessible parking.

"Lichfield Cathedral has a long history, dating back to its mediaeval beginnings, of being a space of welcome and healing for the community," the Dean continued.

"We pray every day for our nation and community, especially for healing the sick and protecting the vulnerable. It's only right we offer the cathedral as a practical means for those prayers to be answered."

A spokesperson for Lichfield Primary Care Network said the use of the cathedral as a vaccination centre was a "generous offer" of help.

"It seems very apt to use the cathedral because it is such a central focus of community life in Lichfield and we are delighted to be offering this service to our shared community," the spokesperson said. 

Blackburn Cathedral is also due to open a Covid-19 vaccination centre in its crypt on Monday.

The cathedral was chosen over the football stadium of Blackburn Rovers to serve as the main mass vaccination centre for Pennine Lancashire. 

The Dean of Blackburn Peter Howell Jones said it was important that the cathedral play its part at a time when people are anxious and worried. 

"The cathedral is central and near to the railway and bus stations with many nearby car parks," he told the Lancashire Telegraph.

"Since I came to Blackburn I have heard many people of all faiths and backgrounds call it 'our cathedral'.

"I am really pleased. We have put a lot of effort into making it clinical and Covid safe."