The support from the Trust has been awarded to the cathedral’s ‘Investing in Our Welcome’ development appeal. The appeal aims to raise funds for heritage conservation, building work and improvements, designed to make the cathedral a more welcoming and functional place for the immediate community and visitors from all over the UK and beyond.
Exeter Cathedral’s plans include building a new ‘Cloister Gallery,’ essential conservation work, improvements to sound, heating and toilets, visitor experiences to help tell the story of the building, and a new ‘Treasures Gallery’ to display the Cathedral’s library and archive collections. Funds will also be used to support a new programme of activities and events to appeal to a wider audience.
Exeter Cathedral will create two new positions to engage with disadvantaged members of the community, young people and families, as well as people who feel the cathedral is currently ‘not for them’. The cathedral has an ambitious vision to ‘reach every child in Devon’ over the next 10 years, having a positive impact on young lives.
Benefact Trust Grants Officer, Paul Playford, thinks Exeter Cathedral’s improvement works will make a huge difference to the wider community:
“At Benefact Trust, we often support the conservation and improvement of our country’s wonderful cathedral buildings. But Exeter Cathedral’s focus on investing in its welcome is particularly compelling for us.
“We’re keen to fund changes that will encourage use by the wider community, encourage different groups to come together and thrive, and support growth in the church – and we believe Exeter Cathedral’s plans will go a long way towards achieving those goals.”
The Very Revd Jonathan Greener, Dean of Exeter, is delighted with the support:
“Benefact Trust has been a longstanding supporter and friend of Exeter Cathedral and countless other churches and cathedrals across the country. As well as financial support, they bring a wealth of knowledge and a deep understanding of the needs and challenges of a cathedral like Exeter’s. That has been particularly priceless as we’ve navigated our way through the pandemic.
“We’re thrilled that this generous grant from the Trust will allow us to take a huge step forward in preserving and improving Exeter Cathedral for the whole community.”
More information about Exeter Cathedral’s Development Appeal be found at www.exeter-cathedral.org.uk.