Rescue Our Ruins Appeal: The Final Chapter Launch
The abbey needs £100,000 to cover the cost of the major conservation and enhancement of the historic Abbot's Kitchen and the Lady Chapel, Crypt and Galilee, which equates to raising £274 every day for a year.
Glastonbury Abbey is hoping companies, families and community groups will adopt the appeal for a day, a week or a month to help achieve the target.
The abbey is working with the Mid Somerset Series, who with Sherborne Web Design, were praised for helping to spread the word by John Brendon, chairman of the abbey's Trustees at the launch.
Through this newspaper, the abbey is appealing for shops and stores to give the 5p's carrier bag levy to help reach its total.
Janet Bell, abbey director, said: "The conservation work has been focussed on the most significant and iconic parts of the site. In summary we have been able to carry out urgent repairs to the walls of the Lady Chapel and Galilee and West Door of the nave, opened up the well, added a new walkway and balustrade and replaced the paving. We have conserved the masonry and stone lantern of the Abbot's Kitchen and introduced heating, lighting and new displays.
"Excitingly this has enabled us to carry out extensive archaeological recording to learn much more about the history of the abbey and in the Abbot's Kitchen we discovered significant evidence of earlier floors and a medieval gallery across the kitchen supported on the stone pillars.
"In the Lady Chapel we have been able, among other things, to extend the walkway to enable visitors to follow the original pilgrims' route through the chapel and down to the well.
"All this work would not have been possible without considerable financial support. We received funding from Viridor Credits Environmental Company (over £750,000) and launched a public appeal in 2012 to raise the additional £500,000 to complete these projects and the conservation of the North Wall. So far the conservation of the Abbot’s Kitchen and Lady Chapel, Crypt and Galilee have cost £1.2 million.
"We have raised £1.1 million and we need a further £100,000 to cover the costs of these projects. The appeal has so far raised nearly £329,000 – almost half through grants from the Headley Trust, Garfield Weston Foundation, The Wolfson Foundation, All Churches Trust, the Maltwood Fund and a local charity. The rest has mainly come from donations from individuals, on tickets and gift aid and collection boxes and from events and support from organisations and sponsorship.
We are so grateful for every single penny we have been given. We now hope that people across the region will help us preserve the past for generations of the future and help us reach this final figure."
Any monies over and above the £100,000 reached will be used for conservation of the North Wall.
Activity surrounding the Final Chapter is being sponsored by Chubb Bulleid and Cooper & Tanner with a range of fundraising events planned.
Michael Eavis said: “It is trying to preserve what is left; it is so important. It is a valuable part of our history and heritage which is why we need to save it.”
The Lord Lieutenant described the appeal as a current pilgrimage and Bishop Peter added: “The history of Glastonbury Abbey is a remarkable story. The abbey is, in ways we will never discover, had the most incredible impact not just on Somerset and its people but the whole of our country
“Coming to Glastonbury Abbey is always an inspiring and humbling experience. It is very important that we in Somerset and indeed across the country treasure, preserve and develop this unique site; the appeal gives us the opportunity to play our part.”
A range of fund-raising activities are planned – for full details visit the abbey website www.glastonburyabbey.com
To get involved email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01458 836119
Added: 25th February 2016