Chichester Cathedral Restoration and Development Trust has just been awarded £160,000 from the First World War Centenary Cathedral Repairs Fund.
Grants from the fund, announced at Budget 2016, allow cathedrals to undertake urgent repair work. The Trust successfully applied for partnership funding towards the cost of essential conservation and restoration to the Cathedral’s western Cloister.
The Cathedral team were delighted to receive news of the award - particularly this week as they are hosting the Southern Cathedrals Festival (21-23 July) where over eighty choristers from Chichester, Salisbury and Winchester Cathedrals are singing together.
Chichester Cathedral’s 15th century Cloisters are non-monastic and consist of three covered passageways to the south side of the Cathedral. The eastern and western arm of the Cloister provide access to the Cathedral; the southern arm links the two creating a cloister garden around the south transept known as 'Paradise'. There are 5 public entrances into the Cloisters making this a busy thoroughfare used daily as a pedestrian route from West Street to South Street, as well as by clergy, lay staff, worshippers and visitors. The Cloisters are used for educational activities, exhibitions and they also provide the venue for events such as the ‘Big Sleepout’, an annual event in aid of Stonepillow, a local charity supporting homeless people.
The western Cloister requires urgent repairs. The window traceries, hood mouldings and cills in this arm of the Cloisters are in an extremely poor condition and require extensive masonry conservation. The rainwater goods must be replaced to support the masonry conservation and repairs made to the roof to prevent rain penetrating existing gaps. An improved cloisters gateway will replace the ‘temporary’ structure which has been in place for 20 years.
Chichester Cathedral is one of a reducing number of English Cathedrals maintaining a free entry policy and this is enabled, in part, by the fundraising efforts of the Restoration Trust.