A 200-year-old cathedral once visited by John F Kennedy may never reopen.
St Andrew’s Cathedral in Aberdeen has struggled to cover its costs and closed in September after developing significant problems with its heating system.
The closure was meant to be temporary, with worship being transferred to St Mary’s Church in the city.
However, the building remains “unfit for purpose” and a decision has yet to be taken on its future.
It is understood the Diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney requires considerable funds in order to restore the cathedral to a state safe enough to open its doors.
Lord Glenarthur, a church member who is chairman of the trustees of the Royal College of Organists, said he fears for the cathedral’s future, saying it would be an “enormous shame” were it to close its doors for good.
Bishop of the Diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney, Anne Dyer, said: “At the end of May 2020 the St Andrew’s Trustees unanimously agreed to close the cathedral buildings temporarily because these are now in an unsafe state and unfit for the purpose of worship.
“The Diocese had been informed that closure was imminent at the Diocesan Synod in February 2020.
“The temporary closure began on September 20, 2020.
“No decision has been made concerning the future of the buildings.”
She added: “The contents of the St Andrew’s buildings have been listed in an inventory and put into safe storage.
“The Trustees are continuing to care for the buildings to limit further deterioration during closure.
“In the months to come a proper assessment of the state of the buildings will take place, which will enable the Trustees to make informed decisions about what might be possible for the future.
“As decisions are made, the Diocese will be informed.”
The cathedral, part of the Scottish Episcopal Church, was built in 1817.
It was first known as St Andrew’s Chapel, becoming St Andrew’s Cathedral in 1914.
In 1938, Joseph Kennedy, the US ambassador, accompanied by his 21-year-old son John F Kennedy, opened an extension to the cathedral.
And in 1944 another president-to-be, General Eisenhower, presented the Colours of the US regiments to St Andrew’s.
City councillor Martin Greig said: “The cathedral has been an important city centre focus for the faith for many years.
“It has built up a strong tradition of mission and caring that has given so much for the good of the community.
“However, the discussion about future needs is inevitable.”