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Winchester Cathedral launches major fundraising appeal
12:51pm Sunday 23rd September 2012 in News
Winchester Cathedral is set to launch one of the biggest public appeals in Hampshire history today.
The church needs to raise £19 million to pay for ambitious plans to raise the profile of its rich history and pay for vital repairs.
The campaign is being launched at an evensong service this afternoon, where the Dean, the Very Rev James Atwell, will reveal the total that still needs to be raised and how much has already been secured or promised.
A grant of £10m from the Heritage Lottery Fund will be applied for in spring 2013, according to the cathedral.
Annabelle Boyes, cathedral receiver general, said: “The cathedral is at the heart of the community of Hampshire. It is a very special building.”
The money will help pay for the restoration of the leaky presbytery roof, wooden vaulting and surviving medieval stained glass windows, along with refurbishing the Education Centre and renewing the sound system, wiring and lighting, which will alone cost some £2 million.
The cathedral aims to launch three exhibitions, including unveiling the bones of Anglo-Saxon and early medieval kings kept in wooden chests for 1,000 years.
It is keen on undertaking a serious research project into the bones, which include Cnut and William Rufus, including possible DNA analysis.
Mrs Boyes said: “The cathedral was the first Royal mausoleum. In the 900s Winchester Cathedral was the equivalent of Westminster today.”
It also wants to improve the public display of its unique treasures, including the priceless medieval Winchester Bible.
The changes are expected to boost visitor numbers which currently stand at around 330,000 a year.