GERALD the much-missed Minster cat is coming to life again - in stone. Stonecarver Anthony Bartyla has been making a stone sculpture of Gerald which should be ready for unveiling next month.

Gerald, a six-year-old Bengal cat belonging to Justine Spencer, came to York when Justine moved to the city in 2017. He became a familiar figure around the Minster and was unofficially adopted as the Minster cat.

He was sadly found dead near St Michael le Belfrey Church at the end of August last year. A few days later the Minster bells tolled to mark his death. Justine received messages from around the world from visitors who had seen him at the cathedral.

She commissioned Anthony to sculpt him, and the hope is that he will soon stand near Holy Trinity Church in Goodramgate - another favourite haunt.

Justine said Gerald was a very outgoing cat. A great mouser, he loved wandering around the Minster precinct, making friends. He often sat on the laps of strangers in Dean's Park - and even gatecrashed weddings.

All the Minster staff knew him. "And tourists met him as well. They'd visit the Minster, see Gerald, and never forget him. They'd say 'I can't wait to come back to see him again'."

As well as the stone carving of Gerald, he'll be immortalised in a calendar next year. Justine's friend Charley Harrington, an NHS worker and amateur photographer, met Gerald late one night when returning from a night shift. The pair struck up a friendship, and Charley regularly photographed him. Proceeds from sale of the resulting calendar will go to York Rescue Boat, where Justine is a volunteer.

She's also working on a book of Gerald tales - along with another friend, Louise Rowley, an illustrator.

"We don't have a publisher yet!" Justine said. Given Gerald's international fame, they may not have to wait too long...