VE Day Picnic for Hope

30th April 2020

Cathedral communities are picnicking for hope on VE Day to raise funds for those in need during this current crisis and to pay tribute to the many millions at home and abroad who sacrificed so much to bring peace to Europe 75 years ago.

VE DAY: Church of England Cathedrals Picnic for Hope

From Portsmouth to Peterborough and Wells to Wakefield, over 20 Church of England cathedrals are inviting individual households to hold a sponsored picnic as a shared moment of celebration in lockdown to mark this important anniversary.

A special website has been set up for households to “share” their picnic online and participants are being encouraged to tweet their plans, ideas and recipes to create a sense of togetherness this Bank Holiday and to give what they can to those who are struggling to feed themselves during this pandemic.

Cathedrals want the Big Picnic for Hope to raise £5,000 for The Trussell Trust, a charity that supports a network of foodbanks in the UK, as well as encourage donations to other local foodbanks too.

The Very Revd Adrian Dorber, who chairs the Association of English Cathedrals, said:

“While big public plans for celebrating the 75th anniversary of VE day 2020 have been put on hold, it seems appropriate to use this date to remember the experience of World War II and to think about the humanity and care we have seen right now.

“This pandemic has inspired a different national mood; the selflessness and dedication shown by our NHS and all frontline workers; the great neighbourliness, the practical support and care for one another.

“The aim of the Big Picnic for Hope is to have a shared occasion, but the project also provides an opportunity for us to recognise that these are difficult times for many people and that we can all play our part in this by giving what we can.”

Samantha Stapley, Chief Operating Officer at The Trussell Trust, said:

“As the coronavirus outbreak develops, more people are likely to need a food bank’s help. Our teams are working tirelessly to ensure that food banks are able to remain open and have the necessary stocks to respond to this crisis. The support of the cathedral network means we can remain agile to respond to the fast-changing situation and ensure food banks continue to provide the lifeline of emergency food and additional support for people in crisis.”

Cathedrals taking part in the Big Picnic for Hope include Birmingham Cathedral, Blackburn Cathedral, Bradford Cathedral, Canterbury Cathedral, Chelmsford Cathedral, Chester Cathedral, Chichester Cathedral, Exeter Cathedral, Guildford Cathedral, Lichfield Cathedral, Liverpool Cathedral, Manchester Cathedral, Peterborough Cathedral, Portsmouth Cathedral, Rochester Cathedral, Sheffield Cathedral, Southwell Minster, St Albans Cathedral, St Edmunsbury Cathedral, Wakefield Cathedral, Wells Cathedral.

You can find all the Anglican English Cathedrals on our website here.

People can share their picnicking plans and ideas and photos from the day using the hashtag #bigpicnicforhope and #feed5000 or visit the Picnic for Hope website.

The fundraising page can be found here.