THE Archbishop of Canterbury is to ‘officially launch’ the ‘struggling’ Coventry Cathedral’s fundraising appeals in the grand surroundings of Lambeth Palace today.
The appeals were first announced months ago. The public and businesses were urged to step in to plug a funding shortfall, and support the city’s heart.
The same pleas are being renewed at today’s high-profile event – in front of an invited audience of civic, business and community leaders from the city.
The Most Reverend Justin Welby’s involvement is a major boost for the cathedral’s hopes of addressing a £100,000 annual deficit, returning the venues to free-to-entry, and continue upkeep and improvements.
The Archbishop is hosting today’s ‘special event’ at his official London residence to highlight the Investors in Hope and the Business Partners Scheme.
An ambitious combined target for the appeals of £300,000-a-year was initially announced in February this year.
Annual donations of £10,000 were sought from businesses, and at least £5 each from residents.
A cathedral statement today reads: “Coventry Cathedral is central to the city of Coventry. The unique profile of the Ruins next to the soaring space of the New Cathedral provides an amazing backdrop to the positive public image of the city.
“Tourists from all over the world come to Coventry to visit the cathedral and with the cathedral as a world-renowned centre for peace and reconciliation, the reputation of Coventry is felt across the globe.
“It may come as a surprise that the cathedral is struggling financially. The cathedral receives no central funding towards its maintenance costs. Every year the cathedral operates at a deficit because it has to spend more on buildings and work than it receives in income.
“However, the cathedral believes that as it is so vital to the image and therefore economic prosperity of Coventry, local individuals and businesses will be eager to play their part in securing its future.
“The Investors in Hope scheme is primarily for individuals and is open to those who can give £5 per month upwards (there is no upper limit). Investors in Hope will benefit from membership of Friends of the Cathedral and regular news updates about the life and work of the cathedral.
“The Coventry Cathedral Business Partners scheme is seeking a commitment of £10,000 per year from each partner. In return, Business Partners will receive a number of benefits as well as knowing that they are securing the future of one of the Midlands’ most iconic buildings.
“To join Investors in Hope please go to the ‘Support us’ page on the Coventry Cathedral website. Alternatively you can contact the Cathedral on 03476 521200 to obtain a form.
“Potential Business Partners should contact the Dean direct on the same number.”