Worcester Cathedral Recovery Fund
We’re asking for your help to secure the future of the Cathedral following the impacts of the pandemic.
Like most tourist attractions, we have suffered great financial hardship following the UK-wide lockdowns in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Emerging from the pandemic, we must ensure that the Cathedral and its grounds are kept in good repair, open and safe for all to enjoy our amazing heritage. We must continue to offer worship accessible to all, whether in person or online. We must bring music and choral singing back into the Cathedral day by day.
We must ensure that the Cathedral remains a beacon of hope for the community. But the stark reality is that our capacity to become that sort of place, and that kind of community, is impossible without stable finances. In order to achieve this, we need your support.
I remember most strongly the morning the Cathedral opened up again after the first lockdown. I volunteer as a welcomer – and the thrill of people as they walked once again through the main door and into the Cathedral was palpable.
Over the last year I have witnessed the clergy react, adapt and continue to support our community. We have all yearned for emotional and spiritual comfort, routine and security. I found mine in the online services. A little shaky in the beginning but quickly they got into their stride and the morning Eucharist has now become a daily pleasure I look forward to.
As we now emerge into the world once more, the sense of community has suddenly become so much stronger. I feel that so many local people have realised the strength the Cathedral offers to us all.
I first came to love the Cathedral as a musician. As a cellist I have been lucky enough to perform in this incredible place once or twice each year. There is a feeling in the Cathedral like nowhere else, a power that comes from somewhere so visually stunning. And, of course, the acoustics are without equal.
Years ago, when my mother was very ill, I yearned for somewhere safe I could be free to think – and I found myself drawn to the Cathedral’s crypt. I felt the weight of that friendly, comforting space surrounding me, holding me together.
Now, the Cathedral continues to be my place; for worship, for community – and always for music. We are all so fortunate, I think, to have this place; many more will need the Cathedral over the next months and years.
Worcester Cathedral is my lighthouse. It gives me direction, it centres me, I know where I am because of it and I can see it every day when I look out of my lounge window.
When the pandemic arrived, and the Cathedral closed, I felt lost – but the Cathedral’s wonderful team guided me and connected me to their online worship. My faith held me steady – and I realised we all still have the same connection, through God, to each other.
In the last year or so I have seen how the Cathedral has played such an important stewardship role for local people. Now we are called to support the Cathedral and their team; because the community they serve will need so much more of their unique support and guidance from here.
Looking back on an extraordinary year
1. The Hope Wall from our Cathedrals at Night event.
2. The Dean livestreaming to our online community. Photo by JDA Media
3. The Canon Precentor and The Dean processing into one of our Christmas services.
4. Cathedral choristers during their first practice after lockdown.
5. The Cathedral hosting a lateral-flow testing site in the nave. Photo by JDA Media
6. The Chamber Choir’s Director of Music conducting them during one of our Christmas services. Photo by Max Wilcox
7. Member of the public carrying out a lateral-flow test. Photo by JDA Media
8. The Cathedral Choir socially distanced during one of our Christmas services. Photo by JDA Media
A message from the Dean
The Dean of Worcester, Peter Atkinson, said: “As we begin to recover from the effects of the pandemic, we must now ask for our community’s continued support for Worcester Cathedral.
“The past year has shown how many people look to the Cathedral for emotional and spiritual support. Many found it distressing when the doors were locked, but valued our online services. Now, people long for the return of congregational services, singing, concerts, school visits, and all the ways in which the Cathedral is at the service of the community.
“I am proud that we were there to support our City and local NHS by hosting a Covid testing site earlier this year; and I am glad that we were there just recently when the county wished to remember the Duke of Edinburgh.
“We have felt very strongly the benefit of the community’s support, encouragement and prayers, enabling us to come through this most difficult year. But the hard work is only now beginning. Public and other bodies have given emergency support to the Cathedral, as to many other organisations. But in the year to come we must stand on our own feet again, relying on visitors and our community of donors and supporters.
“I know what a special place the Cathedral holds in people’s hearts. Emerging from the pandemic, we must ensure that the Cathedral and its grounds are kept in good repair, open and safe for all to enjoy our amazing heritage. But the stark reality is that this is impossible without stable finances.
“Worcester Cathedral is a ‘non-profit’ organisation and almost entirely self-funding. Neither national or local government, nor the Church of England in the diocese, the county or the city has any statutory obligation to maintain the Cathedral and all that goes on in it. The Cathedral must find that money as best it can. In normal times, a significant part of our income comes from visitors, events that generate income, and from the café and shop.
“We lost all of that last year, and we expect that income only to recover very slowly. We estimate a significant deficit in the year to come – losing £903 each day. And so, I am asking you for your extraordinary help at this extraordinary time. I know you share my conviction that Worcester Cathedral can continue to be a beacon of hope for our community.
“Please accept, in advance, our sincere and grateful thanks for any contribution towards the upkeep and longer-term future of the Cathedral you are able to make at this time.”