STRONG winds did not delay the final tentative moments as the last few pieces were added to Arundel Cathedral’s new spire, yesterday.
The ceremony to complete the flèche, or spire, was attended by Arundel and Brighton Bishop Kieran Conry, cathedral dean, Canon Tim Madeley, and contractors who helped to make the whole thing possible.
The delegation climbed a nerve-wracking 180feet up the scaffolding, during strong gusts of wind, to officially bless the spire.
A spokeswoman for the cathedral said: “It was fairly breezy for them up there. But it was a nice ceremony.
“When the spire was being removed, several months ago, we found a handful of coins from 1976. So the group put these back and added a couple more coins from this year, too.”
The work to refurbish and fit the spire was undertaken by, St Anne’s Gate Architects, who were the main contractors. Ellis and Co who helped to transport the spire and King Lifting who supervised the lowering of the spire, last month.
The original aim was to only re-cover the existing steel frame with wood and lead.
However, after work had begun, it became obvious that the steel frame had become corroded and too dangerous to use.
This led to several months of delays and spiralling bills of more than £250,000, although a generous donation of £193,000 by the Friends of Arundel Cathedral combated the difficulty.
Canon Tim Madeley said: “It is not every bishop who has the opportunity to attend such a ceremony for his cathedral. This is a truly joyful occasion.”