Fringe Box



Cathedral Upbeat Over Fundraising In Light Of Closure Rumour

Published on: 14 Jun, 2014
Updated on: 14 Jun, 2014

Guildford Cathedral is upbeat over its vital fundraising campaign despite stories in the national media this week that it may have to close its doors to the public.

The golden angel weather vane on top of Guildford Cathedral.

The golden angel weather vane on top of Guildford Cathedral.

Its appeal, which in its first phase needs to raise £1.3 million by the end of this summer, has reached the milestone of raising £1 million.

The Dean of Guildford, the Very Reverend Dianna Gwilliams, said: “It’s a wonderful achievement and we’re so grateful to all those who have already made their mark.

“Individuals, families and parishes have been getting involved in the Make Your Make campaign. Fundraising events are being planned across Surrey – from a ‘Songs at Summer Solstice’ concert to the Bishop of Dorking’s sponsored walk.”

The cathedral aims to raise a further £300,000 this summer. The second phase of the Make Your Mark campaign beings in the autumn that includes raising money for the refurbishment of the cathedral’s organ.

The urgent requirement for funds is to remove and replace crumbling plaster in the vaults which contains asbestos.  At the same time improvements will be made to access, lighting and sound systems.

Earlier this week The Times newspaper reported that the cathedral may be the first to close since the 1940s due to asbestos problems.

On the cathedral’s website, the Dean, has responded by writing: “The coverage of our appeal in The Times today is welcome but it is regrettable that some of the information contained in the article is inaccurate.”

She adds that the cathedral is seeking to raise £7 million to pay for essential repairs, including the removal of acoustic plaster from the vaults. The Dean writes: “This plaster contains some asbestos, but we are assured by our professional advisers that there is no risk to public health. We have an asbestos management plan in place and carry out regular air-monitoring checks which have been and remain clear. We continue to welcome worshippers and visitors to the cathedral as usual.

With the fundraising scheme, plans also include an oral history project recording the memories of the brick-givers and the development of new visitor resources so that the cathedral is able to expand the range of cultural and educational activities on offer to locals and visitors alike.

To make a donation or get information about organising a Make Your Mark event, visit, or send donations (payable to Guildford Cathedral) to Guildford Cathedral, Stag Hill, Guildford GU2 7UP.

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