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What is the need?


For several years, we have been working in consultation with the Church Council and other stakeholders to develop a comprehensive Statement of Need.

In summary, our reasons for change include:

  • A collapsing floor in the Abbey. Extensive studies have revealed the problem.
  • An antiquated and inefficient heating system. 
  • Inadequate and limited catering facilities. Nowhere for our congregations, volunteers or visitors to sit and chat or enjoy our hospitality - not even a cup of tea!
  • No toilets for visitors or audiences. 
  • We have hundreds of stories to tell about Abbey life, past and present, but lack the means and space to do it. 
  • Our Choirs produce wonderful music every week despite having to rehearse in inadequate and cramped conditions. 
  • Poor lighting in the Abbey
  • Inflexible and uncomfortable seating
  • Inadequate provision for the disabled
  • Lack of and inadequate storage for staging and other equipment

“We are open seven days a week, welcoming thousands of visitors who comprise both tourists and local residents. The Abbey remains a place of worship for many and is an integral part of the city for many more. It is a place where people congregate in times of crisis as well as celebration. It is a major performance venue and civic amenity and has an expanding choral tradition that draws out the talents of children throughout the area. It has a significant collection of archives and artefacts, and holds a responsibility to care for and make these available for future generations."

"All this creates a strain on the fabric of a magnificent medieval building, a strain we must ease if the Abbey is to continue meeting the needs placed on it by its many visitors, a thriving congregation, as well as the local community.”

Charles Curnock, Footprint Project Director