Anti-terror barrier installed outside York Minster

The West End of York Minster.
The West End of York Minster.
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Work to install a protective barrier consisting of 12 large stone blocks outside the front of York Minster will begin this week.

The Yorkshire Post says: Sad reflection of our times when God’s house needs protection

The decision to strengthen security was taken by the Chapter of York, the cathedral’s governing body, following recommendations from the Counter Terrorism Unit.

The Dean of York, the Very Reverend Dr Vivienne Faull said: “The national terror threat level has been at “SEVERE” for many months and is likely to remain so for some time to come. Some experts within the UK’s security community believe that we are facing a generational problem which may last for 20 or 30 years.

“The appalling attacks in Manchester and London earlier this year have required all those responsible for the security of nationally important buildings, monuments and public spaces to reassess, review and constantly refine their arrangements for keeping people safe.

“Chapter has been concerned about the potential vulnerability of the area around the Minster’s West End for some time. The clear recommendation from the Counter Terrorism Unit required us to take urgent and decisive action to protect the area. The protective barrier will provide a physical defence and will be a visible deterrent at the front of the Minster.

“We have a clear duty of care to everyone who visits York Minster and we will do everything we can to ensure that our worshippers and visitors feel safe and secure when they are here.”

Approved by the Home Office and tested by the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure, the 12 stone blocks will form a substantial barrier.

New flag stones will be cut and set around the edges of each block.

No archaeology will be disturbed by the installation, Minster officials said.

The blocks are already in use at a number of high profile locations around the country including the Tower of London.

The security barrier will form a temporary measure so that the blocks can and will be removed if the security situation improves in the future.

The precautionary measure was welcomed by Steve Brown, managing director of Make It York.

Mr Brown said: “As one of the city’s most iconic buildings and popular places to visit, it is reassuring that York Minster has acted upon the recommendations and advice it has been given. It is vitally important that York continues to be a safe place to live, work and visit.”