THE Dean and Chapter of Gloucester Cathedral have offered people the opportunity to own a piece of the building’s fabric.
In a first for the cathedral, they auctioned ten pieces of stonework removed during restoration work. They vary from a 190kg section of a 15th-century gargoyle to a 3kg segment of a mullion installed during a previous restoration in the 1890s. The auction, for which bidding ended on Sunday, attracted 98 bids from as far away as South Wales, Cornwall, and Sussex, and raised £12,232, which will go to supporting the cathedral’s upkeep.
Each stone was selected by the cathedral’s master mason, Pascal Mychalysin, and came with a certificate of authenticity detailing its history and original location on the cathedral.
The stones were “imbued with prayer and presence”, the Dean, the Very Revd Stephen Lake, said. “People sometimes think that cathedrals are like ships in a bottle, stuck, unable to move; and yet the reality is that cathedrals are built with both living stones and the stones that after hundreds of years need replacing.”
The cathedral’s philanthropy manager, Sonia Bielaszewska, said that public interest had been “wonderful to see”.
‘Stone from the tower, sold to the highest bidder’
“This was a trial auction for us at Gloucester Cathedral, and we are delighted with the response from the local community. We believe the success of this auction demonstrates that people feel really connected to the building. The stones will be making their way to their new homes over the next few days, and we cannot wait to see the photos of where they might be placed.
“Obviously, Covid-19 has hit so many charities and cathedrals particularly hard. We’ve fortunately been able to raise a significant amount of money to get us through that period, but we have really ambitious plans for the next ten years for the cathedral; so we decided to be more innovative with our fund-raising.”