Gloucester Cathedral shares development goals
At a community meeting last night (9 July), the Dean and Chapter of Gloucester Cathedral shared their aspirations for the development of the Cathedral into the next generation. The Cathedral aims to grow its congregation and at the same time improve its visitor facilities so that it can play an even greater role in the life of the city of Gloucester.
Named “Project Pilgrim”, the proposed visitor enhancements cover four areas:
Linking the Cloisters and the historic 14th century Parliament Suite with a new build to include a cafe, gift shop and education space
Developing the approach to the Cathedral in College Green
Developing the Welcome area in the South Porch
Enhancing the visitor experience within the building by making more use of the Crypt, Lady Chapel and Whispering Gallery
The Cathedral Chapter (the Cathedral’s governing body) will now embark on a major consultation exercise with the Cathedral community, staff and volunteers, civic leaders and funders so that as many people as possible can help to shape the development of the cathedral.
The Chapter is committed to not charging for entry. Project Pilgrim aims to keep the Cathedral financially secure by encouraging more visitors and more donations.
The Dean of Gloucester, the Very Revd Stephen Lake commented: “Every generation seeks to enhance the cathedral and its environment and we should be no different. Project Pilgrim seeks to work out in practical terms what it means to be ‘in tune with heaven and in touch with daily life’.”
Approach to the Cathedral in College Green
The visuals show a landscaped paved area free of cars which draws the eye toward the Cathedral entrance. This new open space could be used for gathering, events, or an outdoor café area.
Adding a glazed outer door at the South Porch entrance and removing the Edwardian draught lobby would open up the main entrance to the Cathedral and reveal the magnificent arched doorway to its full extent. A corresponding glazed doorway at the other side of the Nave would lead into the Cloisters. Centrally placed in the West End of the Nave would be a new Font.
New signage and visuals would lead the visitor around the Cathedral and encourage them to visit the Crypt and Whispering Gallery. Families would be encouraged into the Whispering Gallery with more hands-on activities.
New visitor facilities
The existing corridor between the Cloisters and Church House would be removed, leaving a larger area for new, improved visitor facilities. (Church House contains the Coffee Shop and Parliament Suite). The historic 14th century Parliament Suite would then be accessible to the public and could be used as part of the new Café. In the new build could be a glass-roofed café giving views of the Cathedral tower, a new Gift Shop, new toilets and improved education and exhibition spaces.
As yet, no money has been raised or permissions sought for this development. The Chapter is inviting comments at the very earliest stages of planning.