AS prayers were being said across the land for devastated Notre Dame experts at York Minster who battled to restore that iconic landmark 35 years ago said raising it from the ashes is quite achievable.

Offers of help and advice have poured in. Damage at York was not nearly so bad, even though the wooden roof caved in and the precious Rose Window cracked in 40,000 places. It took four years to restore.

John David, a master mason at the Minster in 1984 said the two churches faced the same dilemma on reconstruction. He added: "At York Minster there were questions about whether we put an oak roof back on top or a steel roof or even a concrete roof. Some people think we can't do this sort of thing any more in traditional materials, we can, and so I think the roof will be reconstructed, it's quite achievable.

"There was a fear the whole minster would go up, but we were busy getting the valuables out. The next day people were in tears and very upset, but as craftsmen, the first thing we thought was 'let's put it back, let's rebuild it'."

Geoff Brayshaw, 62, one of 12 joiners who helped to restore the gutted minster estimates Notre Dame will cost hundreds of millions and take up to a decade. "The Minster's vaulting underneath the roof was wooden, but Notre Dame is made out of stone, that's the main difference"

"We also had an in-house work force; before the fire we had four joiners, in the year afterwards this went up to 12.They will need a big workforce which is what they will want to be concentrating on."

Bob Littlewood, former superintendent of works at the minster, was instrumental in replacing the vaulted ceiling and roof gutted in the blaze.The day after the fire he was offered 260 oak trees by people wanting to help rebuild it and was tasked with convincing the church authorities to let him rebuild the roof with timber, in keeping with the original design.

Top stained glass expert Sarah Brown, director of York Glaziers Trust, has already written to Parisian officials to offer her assistance.

The minsters governing body the Chapter of York said: "We are shocked and saddened by the terrible scenes at Notre Dame. Be assured of our love and prayers for our brothers and sisters in Paris."

Archbishop of York John Sentamu and the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby have appealed to cathedrals and churches throughout Britain to ring their bells on Thursday in solidarity with Notre Dame.