The 15th of July 2022 has been an important day for Exeter Cathedral. Launching their development project and new appeal. It was a great treat for them to welcome Sir Laurie Magnus, the Chair of Historic England, and Taryn Nixon, Trustee of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, and Chair of the England, London & South Committee which awarded the Cathedral a major grant. As well as cutting three pieces of turf to allow the camera to record the official start of our new Cloister Gallery. The Dean and Chapter had also invited our Provincial Grand Master Ian Kingsbury to the cutting of the Turf and he commented that he was delighted to be present and look on while others did the work
They were also able to celebrate the renewal of the Chapter House, with Sir Laurie cutting the official ribbon. Over the past couple of years, they have raised the best part of £700,000 to spend on the Chapter House, including donations from the Province of Devonshire Freemasons which will be recorded by a stone plaque embedded in the floor when the building is complete, and as well as renovating the adjacent Holy Spirit Chapel, this has enabled them to lay underfloor heating, re-render the walls, install a new sound system and new serving counters, renew the lighting, and build an internal glass porch which will allow them to use the main doors and provide step-free access. This is once again an elegant and user-friendly medieval room, and they are immensely grateful to all those whose generosity has made this work possible.
The Cathedrals newly launched appeal under the patronage of the Prince of Wales is for £10 million. The size of this target shows how much work needs doing there, and just how expensive it is to maintain the fantastic medieval Cathedral entrusted to their care. But the really exciting news is that they have already raised £6.2 million. So, this leaves them with £3.8 million to find – still a large sum, of course, but it feels a lot more achievable to them, given how much is already in the bag. A part of this funding will be used to help sustain the outstanding choral tradition at the Cathedral.
The Very Revd Jonathan Greener said 'Today has been really encouraging for all of us here at the Cathedral. After nearly four years of planning, our project is now underway. Only the second major construction project here (alongside the Pearson building) in 500 years. The next chapter in Exeter’s history.'