Please note that the cathedral will be closed for sightseeing on Friday 19 July due to a Consecration. All are welcome to join us for worship.

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On Monday 9 July 1984 lightning struck York Minster’s South Transept.

Fire destroyed the roof and caused the Rose Window to crack in approximately 40,000 places. Skilled craftspeople undertook a four-year restoration project, returning the transept to its former glory.


“I felt sure he would have to move, but he kept directing his hose along the roof, and even when flames broke through at that spot, he still stayed on.”

– Dorothy Simmons

In what he later described as a “gamble of a lifetime” North Yorkshire’s Chief Fire Officer, Ralph Ford, ordered the collapse of the South Transept roof to stop fire spreading and save the rest of the Minster.


God of wisdom, give us courage when we must make difficult decisions. Let us feel enfolded by your love and wisdom when faced with hard choices.


Click HERE to find out more about the On This Spot photo trail.

Image reproduced with kind permission of B Grayson.

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