Guildford Cathedral is inviting people of all ages to help save the iconic Grade 2* listed building in a major new fundraising campaign, MAKE YOUR MARK.
Following the remarkable achievement over half a century ago when more than 200,000 'Brick-givers' helped fund the cathedral's construction, the campaign is encouraging everyone to continue the story by helping to fund urgently needed repairs and improvements.
TV presenter Pam Rhodes, who is supporting MAKE YOUR MARK, explained the urgency: â€œThe race is on to raise Â£1.3 million by August so an application can be submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a significant grant towards the total Â£7 million needed."
The most immediate requirement for funds is to remove and replace crumbling plaster in the vaults which contains asbestos. At the same time improvements will be made to access, lighting and sound systems, bringing them up to 21st Century standards.
Plans also include an oral history project recording the memories of the Brick-givers and the development of new visitor resources so that the Cathedral is able to expand the range of cultural and educational activities on offer.
Making their mark in their own way will be the Dean of Guildford, the Very Revd Dianna Gwilliams who will abseil down the cathedralâ€™s tower on April 26, Pam Rhodes who will be hosting the cathedral's own Songs of Praise, original Brick-giver Frances Dawson who will organise a Teddyâ€™s birthday fundraiser and Year Six leavers from Church primary schools who will build a cairn of bricks at their school leavers service, each brick representing a schoolâ€™s donation.
Pam said: â€œMAKE YOUR MARK comes not a moment too soon and is an exciting project for Guildford Cathedral. Everyone in Surrey and further afield has a role to play. From the Deanâ€™s daredevil abseil through to a simple donation and leaving a virtual message on the Cathedralâ€™s specially created webpage.
â€œEvery single donation is going to be critical to reach the goal. The cathedral is currently running at a deficit and large-scale repairs are beyond its scope.
â€œOver half a century ago, residents and friends were given an opportunity to be part of this Cathedralâ€™s remarkable tale when they bought a brick. Now we all have an opportunity to make sure that this striking Cathedral and landmark can continue to serve its community into the future. Please give as generously as you can!â€
Messages left as part of the â€˜MAKE YOUR MARK campaign will be added to a MAKE YOUR MARK Manuscript, which will be kept in the Treasury and available for future generations. Appeal funds will also be used to develop visitor resources, in particular sharing the individual stories of the Brick-givers and other people who have made their mark in the buildingâ€™s colourful history.
For more details visit www.guildford-cathedral.org