The clinics are being run by the Lichfield Primary Care Network who began setting up socially distanced immunising stations throughout the cathedral earlier in the week and opened this morning for the first patients to receive the vaccinations.
The Dean of Lichfield, the Very Revd Adrian Dorber, said: “The roll-out of these new vaccines to immunise us against COVID-19 is the best news of 2021.
“It seems apt to use the Cathedral, not just because it is such a central focus of community life here in Lichfield, but because we can offer the huge space of the Cathedral nave to securely and safely host this local vaccination programme, and we are delighted to be offering this to our shared community.
“Lichfield Cathedral has a long history, dating back to its medieval beginnings, of being a space of welcome and healing for the community.
“We pray every day for our nation and community, especially for healing the sick and protecting the vulnerable. It’s only right we offer the Cathedral as a practical means for those prayers to be answered,’ he added.
The Rt Revd Jan McFarlane, a Cathedral Canon and Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Lichfield tweeted:
“In the Cathedral setting up for the vaccination clinic. Feel strangely emotional. Working together to beat this vile common enemy. A beacon of hope.”
And artist, Peter Walker, tweeted a time-lapse video of patients arriving at the cathedral to receive their jabs.
The medical teams are supported by the Cathedral’s volunteers.
Other churches and cathedrals around the country are expected to offer a venue for vaccination clinics in the coming weeks.
At present, churches and cathedrals are asked not to contact public health authorities to offer to host clinics, but will be contacted directly by their local authority if deemed suitable.