The three cathedrals of the diocese, Bradford, Wakefield and Ripon, will benefit by almost a million pounds following the announcement of a second phase of grants awarded by the First World War Centenary Cathedral Repairs Fund for urgent repairs.
In total grants totalling £14.5 million have been announced by government for urgent repairs to Church of England and Catholic cathedrals in England. The three cathedrals of the diocese will benefit from £981,000 for repairs: Bradford Cathedral is awarded £127,000 for heating system and asbestos removal, Wakefield is awarded £456,000 for the restoration of its nave windows and Ripon cathedral gains £398,000 for Presbytery stonework repairs.
(Left: Wakefield Cathedral)
Welcoming the announcement, the Dean of Ripon, the Very Revd John Dobson said, "The announcement of the new round of grants to Cathedrals represents very good news for all those that are benefitting and for the communities that they are serving.
"We at Ripon are extremely grateful for the £398,000 awarded to us for important stonework repairs that have been considered to be urgent for a number of years. This grant comes at a time when the Cathedral is energized by its recently-published plans to serve the people of the city and region. This gives huge encouragement to all those who care about the mission and ministry of this ancient cathedral.”
It was earlier this year, in April, that major celebrations took place at Bradford Cathedral (pictured right) following the completion of work made possible by the first phase of the First World War Centenary Cathedral Fund. Around £350,000 was awarded and used to restore the State Gate, with a further £190,000 spent on high level repairs, including work on the South roof and Lantern Cross.
Dean of Bradford, Very Revd. Jerry Lepine, said, "We are most grateful for the generous grant of £127K from the First World War Centenary Cathedral Repairs Fund for the replacement of the heating system in the Cathedral and associated removal of asbestos lagged pipes which will address our most urgent and costly need.Without this grant we would not have been able to maintain a warm, welcoming and safe environment."
At Wakefield, completion of repairs to windows will be the final phase in the complete refurbishment of the cathedral. The cathedral has doubled its visitor numbers since completing an Heritage Lotter Fund project in 2014.
The Church of England's cathedrals are estimated to contribute around £220 million to the national economy every year through employment and tourism. They welcome more than 11 million visitors annually, employ more than 7,000 people and are supported by 15,000 dedicated volunteers.
Dame Fiona Reynolds, Chair, Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England, said: “Cathedrals are the beating hearts of their communities, offering sanctuary, beauty, collective history, and social and economic support to people of every generation. Cathedrals which benefitted from the first phase of this fund have been repaired and refurbished, and staff and volunteers have time and resources to serve their cities and regions with renewed energy. It is fantastic that more cathedrals are now able to benefit from this scheme. England’s cathedrals are a wonderfully diverse group, encompassing not only vast, world-famous medieval buildings such as Durham, Lincoln and Canterbury, but also smaller churches like Wakefield.”
Sir Paul Ruddock, Chair of the Expert Panel of the First World War Centenary Cathedral Repairs Fund, which assesses the grant applications, said: ‘In 2014 the Chancellor announced the first £20 million phase of the Fund, intended to get our wonderful heritage of Cathedral buildings waterproof and weathertight, safe and open and in good shape for the commemorations of the First World War Centenary in which they are playing such a key part. I and all those who love these great buildings were delighted when he announced a further £20 million for the Fund in the March 2016 budget. It will now run until 2018 and the works it will have supported between 2014 and 2018 will stand as a very fitting memorial to the First World War a century earlier’.
(Pictured Above Left, Ripon Cathedral)