New Year News

12th January 2024

New Year Honours for the team behind the Coronation, funding news for some of our cathedrals, Liverpool Cathedral launches its 100 Voices project to mark its centenary year and Wells Cathedral is ranked as the UK’s most photographed building at night according to new research.

These are just some of the stories from our cathedrals as we start a new year.

Three members of Westminster Abbey have been honoured for their roles at the Coronation of Their Majesties The King and Queen on 6th May 2023.

The Dean of Westminster, the Very Revd Dr David Hoyle,  is appointed a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order, which was established in 1896 to recognise distinguished personal service to the monarch.

As Dean, Dr Hoyle was the first to greet Their Majesties as they arrived at the Abbey for the coronation.  He played a key role in the planning of the service and, on the day, supported the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The Abbey’s Receiver General, Paul Baumann, is awarded the LVO (Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order) for his crucial role in overseeing the way the Abbey rose to the complex challenge of delivering the Coronation.  He is the most senior member of lay staff at the Abbey and works closely with the Dean and Chapter on strategic and operational matters.

Ian Bartlett, Clerk of the Works, is awarded the MVO (Member of the Royal Victorian Order). Ian led the team responsible for preparing the Abbey church for the service, including overseeing the building of the Coronation Theatre and of the broadcast rig which allowed the service to be seen by audiences around the world.

The Dean said:

“It is the job of the Dean to represent the Abbey, to be its voice and a visible presence. I have this honour because of the service the entire Abbey community offered to the Crown at the Coronation. 

“It was a huge privilege to be at the heart of the Coronation and it was also a real challenge. 

“Together we did what was asked of us. I am delighted for Paul and Ian who richly deserve recognition for their efforts, but in truth, the entire Abbey team shared in that wonderful day and now shares whatever recognition follows.”

It was a funding boost for two of our cathedrals under the Government’s Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme last year.

Leicester Cathedral was awarded the highest grant, annual figures released by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport show.

The cathedral received £600,000 towards its restoration project, Leicester Cathedral Revealed that included complete renewal of the lighting, heating, and wiring.

Chichester Cathedral received more than £195,000 for its roof and lighting projects with cash from the Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme also supporting organ repair and maintenance, new fire and intruder alarms, and support for other major projects.

Church of England Cathedrals and churches were among nearly 5,000 religious buildings to receive a share of up to £42 million in Government funding aimed at helping with the conservation of listed places of worship. The Listed Places of Worship (LPW) Grant Scheme gives grants covering the VAT on repairs to listed buildings used as places of worship.

Emily Gee, Director for Cathedral and Church Buildings for the Church of England said: “We are enormously grateful for the Government’s Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme and the support that it provides in helping our church buildings remain central to the life of this country.”

Liverpool Cathedral is preparing to celebrate its centenary year and has launched a 100-Voice project in partnership with its local BBC radio station.

The cathedral wants to capture the voices and stories of people who have some association with the building – from singing in the choir, being baptised, graduating, attending a service, or having a relative who helped build part of the building.

A spokesperson for the cathedral said:

“We’d love to record the oral history of Liverpool Cathedral told by the people who have engaged with us over the years and for 2024 we are going to work to capture those stories. 

BBC Radio Merseyside will record and share the stories on their station and BBC Sounds. Find out more here.

In other news, Wells Cathedral topped the UK list of most photographed buildings at night after the metadata for more than 10 million photos on Flickr was analysed by BuildWorld to identify the famous buildings with the highest percentage of pictures tagged “night.”

Wells Cathedral ranked 6,000 of the world’s most iconic buildings using the number of tagged photos per 1,000 photos of that building on the site and topped the UK list – pipping Big Ben which came in second. St Paul’s Cathedral came in fourth place.