Work has finally begun to restore and renew Leicester Cathedral and make it the very best it can be as a place of worship, heritage, pilgrimage, hospitality, learning, sanctuary and celebration.
The old is being cherished and renewed: Leicester Cathedral Revealed project starts
The cathedral has just announced it has raised all the money it needs to realise its ambitious £12.7m project Leicester Cathedral Revealed including more than £41k from a recent crowdfunding mini-appeal.
Contractors moved in last week to begin demolishing the old Song School after removing two historic memorial stones from the building. Demolition work will be followed by careful archaeological excavation before transformation of the basement for a new visitor and learning centre to meet the increasing demand to see the tomb of King Richard 111. The King was reburied in the cathedral in 2015.
The Dean of Leicester, the Very Revd David Monteith, said:
“We are delighted to be able to start work on this long-awaited project, thanks to the exceptional generosity of individual people, businesses and organisations across the city and county as well as support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and other grant-making bodies.
“The Cathedral holds such a special place in people’s hearts for so many reasons: the worship and prayer we lead on civic occasions; royal visits; memorials and vigils in difficult times; as well as the social action projects and art installations we host to highlight and address current challenges from the suffering of refugees to the threat to our planet from climate change.”
As well as the new extension on the site of the Old Song School providing learning and exhibition spaces, vergers and volunteers’ facilities, visitors’ toilets, and storage, Leicester Cathedral Revealed will also have a transformative effect on the mission and ministry of the cathedral. It will improve the visitor, worshipper and pilgrim experience, provide better facilities for ministry and learning about the Christian faith; expand its musical and cultural provision; enable greater integration with the city and strengthen its mission and social cohesion.
A project update can be found on the Leicester Cathedral website here.
A timelapse camera has been installed and regular videos will be posted on the Cathedral website
The Cathedral remains open for visitors and services until early next year when it will go on tour, holding Sunday afternoon events and services with host churches, worshipping communities and schools across Leicester and Leicestershire. It is hoped its transformation will be complete in time for Christmas 2023.