Notre Dame Cathedral

Published: Thursday, April 18, 2019


A statement from the National Churches Trust.

The National Churches Trust extends its deepest sympathy to the people of Paris following the tragic fire which has partially destroyed the Cathedral of Notre Dame. 

It is still too early to assess the full extent of the damage, but President Macron has already set a target of 2024 for the reconstruction of this magnificent building.

This tragedy has brought to the attention of the entire world the beauty and importance of church architecture. It is too precious to be taken for granted.  

At the National Churches Trust we will redouble our efforts to provide advice, support and funding to the people who look after the UK’s church buildings and so help to ensure the future of the UK’s historic churches, chapels and meeting houses.

Notre Dame Cathedral is certainly not the first to have devastated by fire.

In England, the cathedral at Canterbury in England caught fire in 1174 when a nearby house fire spread.  The Great Fire of London destroyed the mighty St Paul's Cathedral and more recently, in 1984, a lightning bolt at set fire to the south transept of York Minster - destroying its roof and causing £2.25m worth of damage.

Church buildings usually have a low fire risk but arson attacks and accidental fires do occur. Historic England provide comprehensive advice on fire safety. The National Churches Trust recommends that anyone responsible for churches studies it carefully.