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outside the iconic guildford cathedral
14 September 2023

By James

Category: Industry

Guildford Cathedral Rescued Through Generous £6.9 Million Donations

Guildford Cathedral, at serious risk of closure due to asbestos contamination, has been rescued thanks to a successful £7 million fundraising campaign.

In a heartwarming turn of events, Guildford Cathedral has been saved from a financial crisis thanks to an outpouring of support from generous donors who contributed a total of £6.9 million.

The iconic Guildford Cathedral, an architectural marvel that graces the town's skyline, was facing dire financial straits, putting its future in jeopardy.

The cathedral, which gained notoriety as a filming location for the 1976 horror movie "The Omen", faced the daunting task of removing asbestos-laden plaster from its ceiling, a costly and complex undertaking. However, with the dedication and support of over 4,000 individuals and organisations, the Very Reverend Dianna Gwilliams announced the successful completion of the fundraising effort.

Repair work on the cathedral began in 2016 and was projected to conclude the following summer.The Heritage Lottery Fund had previously contributed £4.6 million in 2015 to support the restoration efforts.

One particularly innovative fundraising initiative involved a "sponsor a pipe" campaign to restore the cathedral's organ. This initiative captured the imagination of many, with a significant number of pipes sponsored on behalf of children who will grow up knowing they played a part in preserving the future of this beloved and inspirational structure.

The raised funds will be used not only for the removal of asbestos-containing plaster from the ceiling vaults but also for an oral history project, digitising the cathedral's archives, and implementing new lighting and sound systems. This successful campaign serves as a testament to the community's dedication to preserving its cherished heritage, ensuring that Guildford Cathedral remains a beacon of inspiration for generations to come.

While the Easter appeal that year had come to a close, the cathedral remains committed to ongoing fundraising efforts aimed at sustaining the Grade II listed building. These future fundraising endeavors will support crucial maintenance tasks such as heating and lighting upkeep, repointing weathered brickwork, and repairing exterior pathways.

Drawing in approximately 100,000 visitors annually, Guildford Cathedral had an open day on May 14th that year, providing an opportunity for the community to engage with and appreciate this historical landmark.

The £6.9 million raised through donations not only guarantees the Cathedral's survival but also ensures that it can undertake much-needed repairs and improvements. These efforts will help preserve this architectural gem for generations to come, allowing it to remain a place of worship, cultural significance, and community engagement.

The Cathedral's success story serves as a testament to the power of collective action and the unwavering commitment of the community to safeguard its cherished heritage. It demonstrates that, even in challenging times, people are willing to step forward and contribute to the preservation of their cultural and historical treasures.

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