A CHURCH insurance company is hosting a fire-training session in North Yorkshire following the Notre Dame fire on the evening of April 15.

Ecclesiastical, which insures churches against major losses through accidental events, said it was holding the session to reduce the risk of fire at 'iconic' buildings.

On Tuesday, May 21 representatives of churches across the North of England will meet at Ripon Cathedral to discuss how the risks of fires can be managed.

Ecclesiastical church risk specialist Claire Attenborough said: "Helping our customers reduce their fire and security risk is a fundamental part of our business.

"It is particularly important when you are insuring buildings that are part of the nation’s history.

"As we saw at Notre Dame a major fire at a cathedral or greater church would be a huge loss, so anything we can do to help protect these buildings is very important.”

On Monday, April 15 a fire in the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris caused millions of pounds worth of damage resulting in the devastation of its roof and recently-restored spire.

Ecclesiastical group chief executive Mark Hews said: "It was absolutely heart-breaking to see such a beautiful, spiritually and historically significant cathedral engulfed in flames.

"Our thoughts are with the people of France as they come to terms with the damage to such an iconic building.

"As a long established specialist insurer of churches and listed heritage, we have a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the restoration of these very special and complex buildings.

"We stand ready to join others in providing as much help as we reasonably can to support the restoration.”