Not for Profit

Half a million pounds donated to help sustain Gloucestershire’s oldest business

Written by: Andrew Merrell | Posted 18 August 2020 6:20

Half a million pounds donated to help sustain Gloucestershire’s oldest business

Not many businesses can call themselves a ‘beacon of hope’ to draw attention to their own importance – and need for financial support – but there is one few would not call worthy. 

In June Gloucester Cathedral revealed it too was not immune from the economic ravages of the pandemic, and needed to raise £1 million to continue to play what it called a crucial role in the local community’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. 

It was also a hard fact that the multi-functional building – a place of worship, of community and a huge visitor attraction for the county – stood to lose £1.3 million by the end of the year.

Nevertheless, £1m was an ambitious target, not least because of the aforementioned economic climate and the ambitious target, but because this was also an appeal with a tight deadline. 

If ever those behind the Beacon of Hope campaign wondered whether anyone was listening on high, they may have their answer. 

Theo Platt, head of development and communications at Gloucester Cathedral, said: “Co-ordinated by our brilliant philanthropy manager, Sonia Bielaszewska, the response has been incredible and we're delighted to have reached the halfway point.

“Thank you to everyone who has got behind the campaign - we'vebeen blown away by your generosity. Here's to hitting £1m by Christmas!” 

A statement from the Cathedral said: “This funding will enable a programme of cultural and social activities to help inspire local communities, promote wellbeing, support those who are most vulnerable and stimulate the local economy. 

The Cathedral recently announced that it would be hosting Luke Jerram’s ‘Gaia’ (the seven-metre in diameter artwork depicting the Earth) this October (13 October and 1 November 2020) as part of the campaign.

Lord Vestey, chairman of the appeal said:“Gloucester Cathedral has an ambitious development programme in place which will pave the way for the coming decade and will ensure its sustainability for centuries to come.  

Having lived in Gloucester all my life, I am very happy to donate to the Beacon of Hope Appeal and I am most grateful to the people of our county who have also given so generously. 

We are working hard to make sure that the Cathedral can remain open and continue to play a key role at the heart of the recovery. I am thrilled that half a million pounds has already been secured and confident that with everyone’s help we can achieve our target.”            

If you wish to support the appeal, please visit –