Since the news of a viable and effective vaccine broke a new hope in the fight against COVID-19 has arisen. When the news first broke, back in the summer, the Dean of Lichfield, The Very Revd Adrian Dorber, wrote to Lichfield medical practices to offer Lichfield Cathedral as space for vaccinations. As a cathedral truly at the heart of its community, Lichfield Cathedral wanted to do all that it could to help serve the community.
The Very Rev Adrian Dorber, Dean of Lichfield, said: “The roll out of these new vaccines to immunise us against COVID-19 was the best news of 2020! 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.”
This led to a relationship with Lichfield Primary Care Network, who have a long history and years of experience of providing seasonal flu vaccine clinics off site in community spaces. A spokesperson from the network said: "The Lichfield Primary Care Network, comprising of The Langton Medical Group and The Westgate Practice, is extremely pleased to accept the generous offer of the Dean, to use Lichfield Cathedral for patient vaccinations against COVID-19.
"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."
Lichfield Cathedral is an ideal space for holding such a clinic, with plenty of space for patients to queue inside the building safely, areas for multiple, socially distanced immunising stations, a secure area for storing the vaccine, ample room for patients to sit for their observed 15 minute wait, and a one way flow around the building from entrance to exit. The cathedral is also easily accessible with step-free access, accessible parking and is central and easily signposted for patients to get to.
The first vaccine clinic at Lichfield Cathedral is due to start on Friday 15 January, with set up by the team at Lichfield Primary Care Network on 13 January. Alongside the medical team the cathedral’s volunteers will be available to be a welcoming face and help direct patients as they await their vaccine.
The Dean continues: “Lichfield Cathedral has a long history, dating back to its mediaeval beginnings, of being a space of welcome and healing for the community. 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.”
Meanwhile, the Chancellor of the Diocese of Lichfield has granted an Additional Matters Order that allows churches and their halls to be used for vaccinations without the need for a faculty application.