St Albans Cathedral is pleased to announce that the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded a grant of £3,872,900 for its development project Alban, Britain First Saint: Telling the Whole Story. A With this grant, the Cathedral now has the permissions and funds in place to make their transformational project a reality.
In addition to the HLF grant, a further £3million has been raised as a result of the generosity of over 1000 donors.
The Dean of St Albans, the Very Revd. Dr Jeffrey John, said, this is wonderful news from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The Fund exists to make more people aware of the riches of our national heritage, and St Albans Cathedral deserves to be far better known as the oldest Christian site in Britain, with a uniquely long and rich history to tell.
With this grant, and with the match funding that has so generously been given by trusts and by over a thousand individuals, we shall create a beautiful new welcome center, a new center for schoolchildren, a new exhibition area, and a new adult study center and library. We shall be able to present the Cathedral treasures in a much more attractive way, which includes illuminating the medieval wall paintings and rebuilding the ruined medieval shrine of St Amphibalus. Working with the City’s own Museum project and visitor strategy, we shall make St Albans a first-choice destination for tourists and pilgrims alike.
The project will also deliver a refreshed programme of events and activities for all ages, vastly improved visitor facilities with, for the first time, level access to the Cathedral, shop and toilets.
Chair of the Alban Appeal Executive, Gerald Corbett, hailed the news as a great day for St Albans, Hertfordshire and all of the Diocese and paid tribute to the host of individuals who have championed the project and who have helped secure the funds necessary to unlock the grant awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Robyn Llewellyn, Head of HLF East of England, said: From its role in the evolution of Christianity, to the story of the city that grew around it, St Albans Cathedral is home to an incredible collection of artefacts, stories and architecture dating back 1700 years.
Thanks to National Lottery players, this project will secure that heritage for future generations to enjoy, transform access and facilities to enable even more people to visit and create exciting opportunities to get involved in the St Albans story.
The project will work with and complement the nearby development of the Town Hall Museum, also made possible by National Lottery players thanks to a grant of Â£2.8million from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Preparatory work will get underway in the autumn with the building works due to be completed by the summer of 2019. The programme of HLF funded activities will continue for several years. The Cathedral is launching a special blog so people can keep up to date with the project as it develops.
On Saturday 25th June, St Albans Abbey Girls Choir celebrates its 20th Anniversary with a special service in St Albans Cathedral. The service will be sung by the present choristers along with the men of St Albans Cathedral Choir. Former choristers have been invited back to the Cathedral to sing in the magnificent eight-part Ave Maria by Gustav Holst, which will form a glorious conclusion to the service.
At the beginning of the service the current choristers will give the first performance of Holy Innocents, a work specially-composed by Judith Weir to mark the occasion. The work has been generously sponsored by the Cathedrals Ex-Choristers Association. Judith Weir is one of the countrys most highly-regarded composers, and holds the post of Master of the Queens Music. One of Weirs recent choral works was premiered at the Service of Thanksgiving for Her Majesty The Queens 90th birthday at St Pauls Cathedral.
Tom Winpenny, Director of the Abbey Girls Choir, said: We are very pleased to be celebrating this significant milestone in the life of the Abbey Girls Choir. Over 100 girls have progressed through the choir since its formation in 1996, and I am delighted that many of them will be returning for this celebratory service, along with my predecessors Simon Johnson and Andrew Parnell. We are particularly honored to be welcoming Judith Weir, who has composed a beautiful new anthem for us, which I am sure will take pride of place in our repertoire.
Maria Assumpta Cathedral Girls Choir celebrates 20th Anniversary