Replica Lichfield Cathedral built out of straw

Sunday October 14 2012

A replica build of this, one of the oldest places of Christian worship in Britain has been created - one fifth the size of the original and made entirely from straw bales. The unusual structure of Lichfield Cathedral was the brain child of local man Rob Gray, who runs a 2000 acre arable farm in Whittington and also has three children who attend Lichfield Cathedral School.
 
The project was undertaken as part of the celebrations for the British National Ploughing Championships on October 13th and 14th, which are being held on 250 
acres of local farmland loaned by JF and BM Gray. The event also coincides with the environmental festival ‘Caring for Creation’ at Lichfield Cathedral, which runs from October 7th until the 14th. This environmental festival includes lectures from key-note speakers and the launch of the fairly-traded Cathedral Coffee on October 13th.
 
The Very Revd Adrian Dorber, Dean of Lichfield, who recently visited the structure commented: "The straw Cathedral is a really good scale model of Lichfield Cathedral. Passengers on the West coast mainline between Tamworth and Lichfield are going to have something surprising and delightful to spot. I wish the National Ploughing Championship every success as it returns to Staffordshire after 36 years at a week end when the Cathedral and Diocese are reflecting on our responsibility for the environment and on human stewardship of God’s creation."
 
The structure took approximately 3 weeks and a team of people to build and includes details from the medieval cathedral including the Chapter House, buttresses and of course the three spires or ‘Ladies of the Vale’ for which the cathedral is well-known. Visitors to the Championships will have chance to get up close to the creation and also take part in fundraising activities organised by Rev. Fiona Haskett, the vicar of St. Giles Church in Whittington.