Blackburn Cathedral’s Crypt, which became one of the first mass vaccination sites in the country, will close this weekend after delivering almost 200,000 Covid-19 jabs.
The Dean of Blackburn, the Very Revd Peter Howell Jones said: “We are proud to have played our part in this life-saving vaccination programme to immunise our communities against Covid-19.
“A cathedral is a place of welcome, a place of hope and a place of healing so it is apt that we were able to offer the space of our crypt to securely and safely host this clinic and be at the forefront of the fight against this pandemic.
“We pray every day for our nation and our community and especially for the sick and for the vulnerable and would urge everyone to take up the autumn vaccine boosters when they are eligible."
The Association of English Cathedrals said Blackburn was one of a number of cathedrals at the forefront of the fight against the pandemic. Lichfield, Salisbury, Westminster Abbey and Bangor Cathedral in Wales all opened as vaccine clinics for their communities while Chester, Rochester and Worcester cathedrals became Covid test centres.
Abdul Razaq, director of Public Health at Blackburn with Darwen Council, said: “Blackburn Cathedral vaccination site has been an exemplar of close collaboration and integration of services between the Council, NHS and voluntary sector partners.
"All those who have led the biggest NHS vaccination programme in Blackburn with Darwen can feel proud of their contributions, from centre managers to receptionists, from vaccinators to volunteers and faith leaders who have all supported operations at the site.”
The Covid clinic will move to different premises in the city to prepare for the start of the autumn vaccination programme.