His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent received a warm reception when he paid a visit to the Cathedral on 11th February.
On hand to welcome HRH The Duke of Kent were the Dean; the Receiver General; Richard Oldfield, Chairman of the Cathedral’s Development Committee; and Andrew Edwards, Chief Executive of the Canterbury Cathedral Trust.
The Duke is Patron of The Canterbury Cathedral Trust, and has consistently supported the Cathedral in the past and it is always a pleasure to welcome him for a visit. He was given a tour of the Stained Glass Studio and the Stone Masons’ Workshop where he met Director of Stained Glass, Leonie Seliger, and Head of Stonemasonry and Conservation, Heather Newton. Throughout the tour staff and apprentices took great delight in talking to the Duke and showing him their current projects.
The Royal visit comes just weeks before we receive a decision as to whether we have been successful in our application for funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
The Cathedral Trust has been working for the past eighteen months on the proposal, planning and submission for the bid application- the result is a project, entitled The Canterbury Journey.
The Canterbury Journey is rooted in the Cathedral’s established objectives; welcoming all people, increasing the involvement of local communities, and caring for the Cathedral, its community and its environment.
The Cathedral and its Precincts were built for the use and enjoyment by everyone. Today we honour this ethos wholeheartedly and have ambitious plans to enhance the experience of the millions of people who visit us.
The project will harmonise the urgent repairs to key parts of the fabric – Christ Church Gate, the south Precincts and the Nave, with an improved visitor experience and integrated educational legacy. We want to ensure that the visitors’ experience of the Cathedral is an unforgettable journey of discovery. The Canterbury Journey will enable people to orientate themselves, interpret and interact with the physical and intangible heritage, access little seen collections, and participate in a reinvigorated programme of learning, exhibitions and events.
The HLF is a public body accountable to Parliament. Using money raised through the National Lottery, the HLF was established in 1994 and it supports projects that demonstrate a lasting impact for people and places. It is the largest funder of the UK’s heritage, investing around £375 million a year in new projects. To date they have supported a total of 33,000 projects with £5 billion. It invests in buildings, spaces, archaeology, the environment and cultural projects.
The Canterbury Cathedral Trust submitted a bid for funding in November 2012 and we should find out by the end of April 2013 if we have been successful in round one of our application.
We hope to soon be able to provide you with further details of this inspiring and exciting project.