Exeter Cathedral gets a £1m funding boost

03rd August 2023

The Friends of Exeter Cathedral has announced it will donate £1 million for the building of a new cloister gallery which will connect the cathedral with its historic Pearson building and Chapter House – a key feature of the cathedral’s 2020s Development Appeal Project.

It is one of the largest donations the Friends of Exeter Cathedral has ever made.

The Development Appeal which was launched in 2020, with the former Prince of Wales as patron, aims to raise £10 million over the next five years to develop and renew the cathedral, with refurbishment and renovation works, a new cloister gallery, underfloor heating, a new lighting scheme, and further improve its facilities, its visitor experience and heritage interpretation, and future-proof the cathedral and its buildings.

Dr Rosemary Yallop, Chair of the Friends of Exeter Cathedral, said the charity was delighted to support the building project:

“This grant, one of the largest which the Friends have made, will make a significant impact in underpinning the funding for this project, which is a key part in the overarching development and renewal project for Exeter Cathedral. 

“We never forget that we are only in a position to make an exceptional grant of this size because of the generosity of benefactors and members, past and present, who have made gifts to the Friends to mark their love of the cathedral, whether rooted in faith or through a deep sense of its history, or both, and the new cloister will be a tangible and enduring tribute to their support.”  

The Very Revd Jonathan Greener, Dean of Exeter, said:

“The Friends of Exeter Cathedral are always amazingly generous in their support, but this extra grant is a tremendous gift, which will make a massive difference to our fundraising for this project. It makes our target so much more achievable.” 

He said that the new cloister will be known as ‘The Friends’ Gallery,’ as a lasting tribute to the donation, and a permanent acknowledgement of all that the Friends do for the cathedral.

Founded in 1929, The Friends of Exeter Cathedral was established as an independent charity to help preserve and improve the fabric and furnishings of Exeter Cathedral and ensure that the cathedral is here for future generations.

In recent years, the Friends have helped to fund a range of important projects including the installation of a new lighting system in the cathedral’s 13th century Chapter House and a major survey of its Bishop’s Throne and canopy and they give ongoing support to the Exeter Cathedral stonemasons.