MORE than half of the cathedrals in Britain have been given
money towards urgent repairs, in the second round of the
Government's First World War Cathedral Centenary Repair Fund.
Grants ranging from £15,000 to £600,000 have been announced for
25 Church of England cathedrals and six Roman Catholic
This was the second round of funding from the £20-million pot
that was set up to help pay for essential repairs. The third and
final round of grants from the fund will be announced next
The biggest winner was Clifton RC Cathedral, in Bristol, which
was given £600,000 for urgent roof repairs. The building was
completed in 1973. Portsmouth Cathedral was given £594,000 for
repairs to its tower and south transept, and Truro Cathedral was
given £500,000 for repairs to its nave roof.
Between them, the cathedrals in the diocese of West Yorkshire
& the Dales will receive more than £924,000. Bradford Cathedral
will receive £349,479 for repairs to the state gate; Ripon
Cathedral will receive £354,617 for repairs to the north transept
and roof; and Wakefield Cathedral will receive £220,000 to repair
the quire and nave roof.
At Ripon, part of the project involves the replacement of some
of the cathedral's gargoyles, which have weathered to the point
where their original designs cannot be made out. The designs for
the new gargoyles will be decided through a competition, details of
which will be announced in the new year. The new gargoyles are
expected to be installed by August 2015.
Some cathedrals have been given grants in both rounds of the
funding - such as Exeter Cathedral, which has been given £278,000
this time, for repairs to the chapel of St Andrew and St Catherine,
after receiving a grant for repairs to another chapel in the first
round of funding.
The Bishop of Worcester, Dr John Inge, the lead bishop for
cathedrals and church buildings, said: "Cathedrals are a success
story - not just for the Church, but for the cities where they are
located, and the millions of people who enjoy their architectural
splendour, magnificent music, and open welcome each year.
"It is entirely appropriate that the Government has recognised
that, in supporting cathedrals, they are also supporting local
communities across England.
"The outcome of these grants will have echoes far beyond mere
building works. It is an investment in beautiful places which, in
turn, support and encourage the people among whom they minister,
making a significant contribution to human flourishing in each of
our cathedral cities and beyond."
The chairman of the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England,
Frank Field MP, said: "As moving commemorations of the First World
War continue to be held across England, it is a most excellent
thing to see taxpayers' money being used to create a lasting legacy
of cathedral grants which takes the pressure off building repairs,
and allows cathedrals to be the centres of remembrance and worship
that people rely on them to be.
"There is always more to be done, but through this scheme [the]
Government has begun a very vital task."
Cathedral cities "at risk". A new report for
English Heritage, The Sustainable Growth of Cathedral Cities
and Historic Towns, warns that historic cathedral cities in
England are at risk because local authorities are under pressure to
build new homes and boost the economy. Durham, Winchester,
Lichfield, and Salisbury are among those said to be under threat
from redevelopment, the report says.