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Christmas Cheer for Cathedrals - Twelve cathedral grants announced

Twelve cathedrals will learn today that they been awarded fabric repair grants in the run up to Christmas. They each receive amounts varying from £10,000 to £118,000 from the Cathedral Fabric Repair Fund. The total grants amount to £718,000.

The twelve successful applicants were Bradford, Canterbury, Chichester, Coventry, Lincoln, Norwich, Peterborough, Portsmouth, Salisbury, Southwark, Wakefield and Wells cathedrals.

The Fund is a partnership between the Wolfson Foundation, Pilgrim Trust and the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England (CFCE), all with long records of supporting England's historic church buildings and their contents.

Janet Gough, Director, Cathedral and Church Buildings Division of the Archbishops' Council, said: "This is a unique fund supported by several grant-giving bodies who understand the need for a strategic funding programme to support critical repairs to our historic cathedrals, which have been and continue to be immensely significant in the nation's life. We hope this is just the start of a successful partnership and that the fund will grow with further grant-making funds and private individuals joining in".

Paul Ramsbottom, Chief Executive, The Wolfson Foundation, said: "These are buildings of astonishing beauty and significance. We are delighted to be working in partnership with the Pilgrim Trust and CFCE to provide this funding".

Georgina Nayler, Director, The Pilgrim Trust, said: "The Pilgrim Trust has been contributing towards the repair of our beautiful and important Cathedrals for nearly 82 years. We are delighted to be part of the Cathedral Fabric Repair Fund and to be working in partnership with the CFCE and the Wolfson Foundation to continue our support".

The Rt Hon Frank Field MP, Chair of the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England (CFCE), added: "One of the most significant aspects of these grants is that we have included a number of cathedrals for which fund-raising is less easy, and also several with innovative solutions to problems posed by 20th century materials and climate change". 

The Fund is particularly pleased to be able to support important work such as:

A pilot project for the Chapel of Industry at Coventry Cathedral which looks at a major building repair issue for modern architecture.
A preventive approach by Peterborough cathedral, a building of international significance, to tackle the challenges of climate change and deal with heavier rainfall.

High priority works at Bradford cathedral, in one of the most deprived areas of the country. 

A comprehensive repair programme at Portsmouth cathedral, an attractive building with a medieval Quire.

Anglican cathedrals in England are eligible for the Cathedral Fabric Repair Fund.  Grants are for major repairs to historic fabric (e.g. stonework and roofs), and cathedrals are required to obtain matched funding. 

The 2010 pilot of the Fund's scheme made six grants, totalling £500,000, and was hugely over-subscribed. Previous press releases about the pilot scheme may be found on the Church of England website, here and here.


The twelve grants awarded in 2011 are (£ 000s):
Bradford, 118, High level pointing of masonry
Canterbury, 35, Repairs to SE transept stair tower
Chichester, 10, Repairs to spire
Coventry, 54, Repair pilot study for chapel of Christ the Servant
Lincoln, 100, Repair of NW transept (east) high level gutter 
Norwich, 60, Repairs to muniments room/St Luke's chapel roof
Peterborough, 21, Adaptation of rainwater goods
Portsmouth, 100, Repairs to roofs (east end)
Salisbury, 50, Repairs to Chapter house
Southwark, 100, Repairs to organ chamber and south choir roofs
Wakefield, 50, Repair and conservation of nave aisle walls
Wells, 20, Repairs to chain gate roof

The Cathedral Fabric Repair Fund is a partnership fund supported by the CFCE and independent charitable grant-givers, the Wolfson Foundation and the Pilgrim Trust.  It awards grants of up to £125,000 supporting major repairs to historic fabric in Church of England cathedrals. More information (and the online application form) can be found on the Churchcare website.

The CFCE is a statutory body, with both regulatory and advisory functions. It draws together many of the country's most respected experts in their particular fields, who give generously of their time on a voluntary basis.

The Church of England is responsible for 45% of England's Grade I listed buildings.  As such, no-one has greater responsibility for England's built heritage.  Cathedrals receive no direct government funding.

The latest statistics from the Archbishops' Council's Research and Statistics Unit show that attendance levels at regular weekly services in Church of England cathedrals have increased significantly again this year, by 7 per cent.

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