Quake outpouring moves new National Cathedral dean

The Rev. Gary Hall inspects earthquake damage on the roof of the Washington National Cathedral. (Courtesy of the Washington National Cathedral)
The Rev. Gary Hall, newly appointed dean of the Washington National Cathedral, observes security netting and learns about earthquake repair project from head stone mason Joe Alonso. (Courtesy of the Washington National Cathedral)
Head stone mason Joe Alonso points out earthquake damage to the Rev. Gary Hall, newly appointed dean of the National Cathedral. (Courtesy of the Washington National Cathedral)

Neal Augenstein, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – The newly nominated dean of the Washington National Cathedral will begin work in the midst of the major repair project after last August’s earthquake.

The Rev. Gary Hall says he has been inspired by the regional and international outpouring of support for the rehabilitation project, which at last projection would cost $20 million and take several years to fully repair the landmark.

“The cathedral is really an iconic structure in American religious life,” says Hall.

“It is the nation’s church. It’s where we have presidents’ funerals. It’s where we celebrate wonderful events. It’s where we mourn together in times of tragedy.”

Hall’s nomination is expected to be approved later this month. He would begin at the cathedral on Oct. 1.

“I’ve made a tour of the earthquake damage, upstairs on top of the building, out front, and around the property, and I’ve seen how extensive it is,” says Hall.

“The cathedral has done a very good job so far of stabilizing everything so the building is safe to worship in, and nothing else is going to fall off or fall down from the building,” Hall says.

Fully repairing the National Cathedral is a top priority for Hall.

“The cathedral is extremely important as a symbol of America, as a nation under God,” Hall said.

“The public cares about the cathedral. It’s been a wonderful and supportive experience to see so many people wanting to help restore and repair the cathedral.”

Hall is currently serving as rector of Christ Church Cranbrook in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

He was selected to become the National Cathedral’s 10th dean after a seven-month search, after the Rev. Dr. Samuel Lloyd stepped down in September 2011.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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