is one of England’s great heritage gems and one of the finest examples of gothic architecture in the world.
In a bid to share its wonders with the Devon community and support local people, the cathedral is undertaking three major projects: the restoration of the 13th Century Chapter House; the creation of a new cloister gallery; and an increased focus on sending ‘the cathedral’ out into the community, as well as welcoming people in.
“The generous recurrent grants from Benefact Trust, both this year and last year, have been critical in helping us to prepare the way for longer term plans that we want to implement over the next decade. They help us to meet match funding targets for other grants, and help with the costs of essential preparation work.” - Jill Taylor, Director of Development, Exeter Cathedral
A particular focus for this year’s award will be vital restoration to the cathedral’s 13th Century Chapter House. A historically significant building and an important hub for the local community, the Chapter House is used as a space for school assemblies, ‘Wednesday Kitchen’ to bring comfort to those experiencing homelessness, the cathedral’s ‘Cloister Club’ children’s group, and many other volunteer groups.
The Benefact Trust grant will help to fund improvements to the Chapter House, including a proposed glass inner porch, renewed underfloor heating and better lighting.
The Very Revd Jonathan Greener, said: “A glass inner porch will provide a much needed heat and sound barrier, enabling us to open the large oak doors so people can see in, and automatic doors will allow access for all. The current underfloor heating hasn’t worked since the 1970s so needs to be renewed, and also separated from the main cathedral boilers, so that it can function independently and much more efficiently.”
Work will also include essential specialist cleaning and repair of the medieval ceiling, and conservation of important early 14th Century paintings which are currently disguised behind late 20th Century sculptures.