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Ice block crashing through Brentwood Cathedral roof interrupts Sunday prayers

PUBLISHED: 17:10 10 July 2012 | UPDATED: 10:05 12 July 2012

Brentwood Cathedral

Brentwood Cathedral

Copyright Dr Graham Hillman 2011

Sunday prayers at Brentwood Cathedral were interrupted when an ice block, believed to have fallen from an aeroplane, crashed through the roof.

The congregation was taking part in a mass service when they were interrupted by the block of ice.

It caused damage to the slates on the roof and beams, but did not enter the building.

David Worsfold, spokesman for the cathedral, said: “A block of ice hit the roof on the west side of the cathedral. It damaged some of the slates and caused about £300 to £400 damage.

“It made a crashing noise, but didn’t come all the way through the roof.”

He added that Father James McKay, who was leading the service, stopped temporarily when it fell through the roof, but after a couple of seconds said “right, shall we carry on?” and continued with the service.

He added that the temporary fix held off the torrential rain over the weekend, but it will be completely fixed once they get costings and the correct slates are found.

The Civil Aviation Authority said out of three million flights over the UK they had 30 reports of ice blocks dropping from aircrafts in a year.

A spokesman said ice can fall from high altitudes but added that it was “very rare”. He said it could happen if a washer in a pipe wore away and water seeped outside of the aeroplane, forming ice, which could fall off when the aircraft flew through a warmer atmosphere.

He added that incidents could also be used by natural meteorological phenomena.

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