The Canterbury Journey
The Canterbury Journey is a major project being delivered over five years and it continues to play a significant role in the Cathedral’s life until its current end date of October 2021.
The total project cost is £24.7 million. The National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF #NationalLotteryHeritageFund @HeritageFundUK ) awarded the Cathedral a total grant of £13.8 million – to which is being added a magnificent £10.9 million raised by the Canterbury Cathedral Trust, from The Friends of Canterbury Cathedral and many other private and charitable sources in the UK and USA.
The Canterbury Journey will achieve a radical transformation in the accessibility and sustainability of Canterbury Cathedral. It will safeguard an iconic building which embodies England’s story, increase the number and broaden the range of those who journey to it and enrich their experience.
A new Visitor Centre with a free Viewing Gallery of one of Europe’s most important churches and a dedicated Community Studio. New trails will guide visitors through the Cathedral and its newly landscaped Precincts, interpreting their journey and revealing unseen treasures from Canterbury’s past. New, young, diverse and hard-to-reach audiences will join the journey as a programme of engagement and outreach to schools and communities unfolds. A new pass scheme will swell the company of contemporary visitors and deepen the Cathedral’s relationship with its neighbours. The fabric of the western end of the Cathedral, currently endangered, will be restored and enhanced, allowing Canterbury’s journey to continue.
The project is formed of three complementary programmes – responding to the most urgent needs for our heritage, people, and communities:
• Repair and restoration of the West end of the Nave and Christ Church Gate;
• Landscaping of the Western Precincts;
• Improved physical access to the Cathedral and its collections; and
• A commitment to Conservation in Action – engaging people with the work of our craftspeople and the work of the Cathedral.
• Interpretative Pilgrims’ Trails – developing the ways people connect with and interpret the site, utilising digital technology and opening up the Cathedral’s historic collections to them; and
• Schools on the Journey – increasing the depth of experience, and the numbers and range of schoolchildren able to enjoy the Cathedral, and building the Cathedral’s capacity to reach out to schools.
• Visitor Centre – an exciting new space and Viewing Gallery to enable visitor reception, community activities, interpretation and orientation, as well as new retail facilities;
• Community Studio – a new dedicated resource for delivering the Activity Plan and for community groups to use;
• Community Pilgrimage – new programme of events and courses to offer a wide range of people the chance to discover and grow their talents; and
• Canterbury Pilgrim’s Pass – replacing the existing pass system to encourage the local community to access their Cathedral regularly.