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Building the Future to Remember the Past

by glynch — last modified 24 Jul, 2014 05:54 PM

Cathedral awarded fabric repair grant by government to assist it as centre of WW1 Centenary commemoration.

Salisbury Cathedral has been awarded a grant of £485,000 from the First World War Centenary Cathedral Repairs Fund, a partnership between ChurchCare, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Roman Catholic Church. The grant will support external repairs and conservation of the South East Transept and Presbytery.

As centres of their communities, cathedrals will play a significant role in the commemoration of the First World War - as gathering points, hosts for events, and sources of education. Recognising that cathedrals need help with basic repairs to their buildings in order to fulfil this role, the Government has made £20 million available over two years for Church of England and Roman Catholic cathedrals.

Salisbury Cathedral has programmed a number of World War One commemoration events to run during the anniversary years, and visitors are currently being invited to contribute to a Roll of Honour for All Wars which will be on display during Remembrance commemorations this November. Other significant moments include an evening event in the Cloisters and Cathedral on 4 August with readings, words, music and silence marking the outbreak of the war, and a concert on 29 October with Pinchas Zukerman and the National Arts Centre Orchestra of Canada, in recognition of the local presence of thousands of Canadian soldiers on Salisbury Plain in WWI.

Full event listings for the coming months can be viewed at

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Rt. Hon. George Osborne MP says:

“Britain’s cathedrals are not only at the heart of Christian worship but also at the root of our shared history. They gave our cities their legal and cultural identity, and will be a focal point for local and national remembrance as we come together to commemorate the centenary of the First World War.”

The Dean of Salisbury, the Very Revd June Osborne, is a member of the Government Advisory Panel looking specifically at the centenary of World War One and has worked alongside authors, academics, historians and politicians. She says:

“We are extremely grateful for this grant which will enable us to continue in our commitment to preserve the precious medieval fabric of this much loved cathedral. The Cathedral’s long association with military regiments and our own evocative memorials of individuals and events enable us to play a key role in the anniversary commemorations. From the outbreak of war, to the battles which claimed such sacrifice of life, through to the Armistice and a changed world, we will be remembering and honouring our past and looking forward in hope.

“This centenary will be the first time we commemorate this war without living veterans which makes it even more important that we focus on making connections. These connections will help our children and grandchildren understand and appreciate what their ancestors sacrificed for their future – and the future of Britain at large. More collectively it will also provide an international legacy of how the war shaped and affected the world we live in today and ensure that the lessons learnt - the cost of freedom, the need to resolve conflict, our multi-ethnic past and the debt we owe to those who lost their lives - will live with us forever.”

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