We aim to support all the different aspects of cathedral life. Here are some of the ways we have helped in the last few years. These tend to involve larger grants; most of our grants are for much smaller amounts, but can be equally valuable. Our total of gifts in the three years April 2013 to 2017 amounts to very nearly £400,000.
We make a donation of £15,000 each year to support the choir. In addition, because they are expensive to put on, we often make a contribution to the costs of concerts by any of our choirs. In 2015-17 this will amount to £12,500.
Over the Cloister Café between the Chapter House and the southeast transept is an area of the Cathedral that visitors seldom see. This is known as the Parlour and it’s used by the vergers as office, common room and vestry; its cupboards hold Cathedral vestments. The Friends paid for the refurbishment of the whole area with new furniture and lighting. As well as improving working conditions for the vergers, it has made space for occasional visits at which some of the Cathedral treasures can be shown. The Friends’ contribution was £68,000.
For the Cathedral’s many visitors we have a new touch screen display system, covering the history of the building. The Friends have paid for the third and final stage of this excellent development – £55,000. Recently the display panels have been installed in the north transept showing the life of the Cathedral today. The Friends gave £4,500 for these boards.
In 2016 the Dean undertook a sponsored bike ride in Northern France as part of his sabbatical. There was a dual purpose to this venture, to increase membership of the Friends and to enable the Friends to raise money through inviting sponsorship of his travels. He cycled 1,000 kilometres and as a result the Friends raised £8,500 towards the restoration of the Edgar Tower (and gained over 160 new members).
The Cathedral’s medieval (but still working and relevant) library contains both ancient manuscripts and early printed books. The conservation of these is expensive. The Library has its own Adopt-a-Book scheme, and the Friends contribute to this, or similar work, from time to time. In 2017 the Friends have made a grant of £9,900 towards improved lighting in the Cathedral Library.
We have helped with items from the workaday (new hymn books; vergers’ gowns and vergers' workwear) to the ceremonial (a set of new copes for use by the Cathedral clergy at very formal services).
As a pump-priming measure we funded (£33,000) a part-time education post for three years, starting in 2012/13. This post now continues without subsidy.
Want to support us?
Visit the membership page where you will be able to find out how to join the Friends organisation. You will also find out what benefits you will receive as a member.
The magazine of the Friends, The Shield, contains lots more information about the recent work of the Friends, as well as lots of other information about the cathedral and what the Friends have been up to socially. You can download the latest copy here.