The King says YES – to more Cathedrals

11th June 2024

His Majesty King Charles III has announced he will continue as Patron of the Salisbury Cathedral Trust, the Lincoln Cathedral Fabric Fund and the Friends of Chester Cathedral.

The King say “Yes” to Chester, Lincoln and Salisbury Cathedrals.

Chester, Lincoln and Salisbury are the latest cathedrals to announce the new King’s continuing patronage.

Salisbury Cathedral is delighted to announce that King Charles III has agreed to remain Patron of the Salisbury Cathedral Trust.

The Salisbury Cathedral Trust was established in 1984, initially as the Spire Appeal Trust, under the patronage of the then Prince of Wales, to manage fundraising to support necessary repairs to the Spire, Tower and West Front. Since then, the Trust has continued to provide funds for the ongoing repair and maintenance of the Cathedral building.

Work on the Spire began in 1987 raising more than £7 million towards the project. Fundraising events included a major concert in 1991, supported by the Prince of Wales and featuring performances from Phil Collins, Placido Domingo, Charlton Heston and Kenneth Branagh. The event took place on the west lawn in front of the Cathedral to an audience of more than ten thousand.

Work on the Spire was completed in 1992 and was followed by conservation and repairs to the Tower and West Front, which were completed in 2001. The roofs subsequently received repair work in 2005.

Since then, the Cathedral’s Works team have painstakingly made their way around the exterior of the building, concluding last year with the completion of the last large area of repair, the East End. This means that the exterior of the Cathedral is free from scaffolding for the first time since work began 38 years ago – a similar length of time that it took to build the Cathedral in 1220.

The Dean of Salisbury, the Very Revd Nicholas Papadopulos, DL, said:

“We are delighted that His Majesty has kindly agreed to continue his patronage of the Cathedral Trust. 

“We are very grateful for his support of the original appeal at its outset in the 1980s, and for his ongoing interest in the restoration work. 

“He most recently visited the Cathedral in 2020 and gave an address in celebration of the 800th anniversary of its foundation. With His Majesty’s support we look forward to continuing the good work begun by those who started the Trust forty years ago.”

The Cathedral’s Works team continues to work on other important projects, including maintenance of the North Cloister, where there has been significant weather damage to the stonework, and restoring the impressive Edward Burne-Jones window in the south aisle.

Lincoln Cathedral Fabric Fund has also just announced it has received official confirmation that the King will continue as their patron.

The Fabric Fund exists to support Lincoln Cathedral’s continuous programme of conservation and restoration to sustain it for future generations.

Lincoln Cathedral is the only Church of England Cathedral included in its entirety on the Heritage at Risk Register.

Once the tallest building in the world, the Cathedral is constantly vulnerable to wind, precipitation and pollutants that together are slowly stealing the fabric of the Cathedral away. It takes approximately 100 years for the cycle of works that arrests this decay to move around the Cathedral.

It is interesting to note that as part of the Cathedral’s listing on the Heritage at Risk Register, it was challenged to spend approximately £1.6million each and every year to ensure the condition of the building does not worsen.

In order to achieve such a challenging goal, the Cathedral relies on its dedicated in-house Works Department made up of individuals who are not only passionate about their work on the Cathedral building itself, but in continuing and developing the important heritage skills that are so vital to sustaining a vast medieval Cathedral such as Lincoln – conservators, glaziers, joiners, lead-workers and stonemasons.

As far as possible, all our cathedral craftspeople are true to the traditional processes and crafts that would have been used in the original constructions –  though they do have the benefit of some more modern machinery and techniques to help them in the task.

Wherever possible, they always try to ensure that the existing fabric is retained and only when the structural role of a stone, carving, joist, lead roof or section of glass can no longer be performed, will it be replaced with new.

From carving a new piece of stone to conserving beautiful medieval glass, the skills of the Works Department are the most important element in conserving and restoring the fabric of the Cathedral. It is important that the Cathedral continues to undertake the training of new apprentices as well as developing the skills of its existing workforce.

The future presents many challenges for Lincoln Cathedral. With major works in the pipeline, do get in touch if you can volunteer your time, give a donation or sponsor a stone and piece of glass or include the Lincoln Cathedral Fabric Fund in your Will.

And the Friends of Chester Cathedral has also just announced the continuing patronage of His Royal Highness King Charles III.

The Friends of Chester Cathedral were founded nearly 100 years ago as a charitable society  brought with the common aim of supporting the Dean and Chapter in their work including the life, worship and ministry of the Cathedral, enhancing and assiting in maintaining the fabric and furniture of the building and hosting events throughout the year.

Recent grants made to the Cathedral include

  • Support for the Music Department during the pandemic restrictions
  • Portrait of retired Dean Gordon McPhate
  • Storage for gardening tools & planting in the Garth
  • Provision of bespoke Nave liturgical furniture

The Friends of Canterbury, Winchester and Norwich cathedrals have all announced that His Majesty King Charles III has accepted their invitation to be patron.

York Minster and Exeter Cathedral have announced the King has reconfirmed his patronage of the York Minster Fund and Exeter Cathedral 2020s Development Appeal respectively.