Prior to this global pandemic the Cathedral had spent time putting in place the structures and financial models for delivering their vision of being in tune with Heaven and in touch with daily life. Before Covid-19 came along the resources to sustain the ambitious 10 year development programme of capital development, regeneration and community engagement were in place.
However, having now been hit hard by the coronavirus crisis the Cathedral is facing an immediate financial threat to this mission and stands to lose up to £1.3 million by 2021 in lost visitor and events income.
The Beacon of Hope appeal funding will enable the Cathedral to continue to deliver their development programme and achieve the following
- Programme collaborative cultural activities to help inspire local communities, promote wellbeing and stimulate economic growth.
- Ensure the Cathedral can play an important role in meeting the spiritual and social needs of our communities by being at the heart of the recovery for the city, county of Gloucestershire and diocese.
- Safeguard their heritage, continue to care for their fabric and adapt so music and worship can still reach people’s homes.
- Maintain and develop their training, education and outreach provisions and support the most vulnerable members of our community.
- Deliver a digital strategy which enhances all of the above
Being the mother Church of our diocese and the cathedral’s role as the seat of the bishop and a centre of worship and mission, the Gloucester Diocesan Board of Finance (GDBF) felt it was vital to support the Beacon of Hope Appeal.
Members of the Bishop’s Council, which is the main policy making body of the diocese and the Standing Committee of the Diocesan Synod, agreed to pledge a grant of £250k to Gloucester Cathedral from the Development Fund*, which is the earned income of the GDBF for trading activities. The fund has donated around £2 million pounds over the past five years to worshipping communities.
We now pray that this commitment from the diocese will urge other potential funders to do the same and that the Cathedral can remain open and able to play its key role at the heart of our diocese.
We are living in unprecedented times and the full impact of Covid-19 on all of us as individuals, families and worshipping communities has yet to be fully discovered and we recognise the many fears and financial pressures Covid-19 has placed on our worshipping communities.
Members of the Bishop’s Council and the Bishops Staff team are working through what financial support measures can be introduced to help our worshipping communities through this crisis and so together we are able to continue to live out our vision of sharing the transforming Gospel of Jesus Christ so that people may know life in all its fullness.
We continue to give thanks for the clergy, people and communities of this Diocese.
Karen Czapiewski, Chair of the Diocesan Board of Finance.
*The Development Fund enables mission and ministry across the diocese and provides funding for projects that help to deliver our vision of sharing the transforming Gospel of Jesus Christ so that people may know life in all its fullness.