Appeal

This page needs updating as I've just merged the two sets of "Appeal" data, but it's not all up to date...

Restoration and Development - Building work completed: 
Total cost £950,000 - £30,000 still needed!

The most fragile and dangerous parts of the Minster building are now safe. It has gained toilets, a meeting room, an office, storage space, better access for bell ringing, safe wheelchair access and a fire escape. This will all make the Minster much more usable and comfortable, not only for church services, but for all the other activities hosted at the Minster, including the Café, concerts, and exhibitions.

The cost of the project rose to £950,000 (£200,000 more than expected), mostly because of unexpected problems. The repair works needed were more extensive than had been realised and the new development, especially the wheelchair lift, proved more difficult and expensive than anticipated. Within the northwest tower, the foundations of the original 12th century tower were uncovered, so it was necessary to alter the plans to protect these archaeological finds. It is difficult to build a new freestanding structure inside a mediaeval building where nothing is freestanding or upright! The works have taken nearly double the time expected, but apart from a few snags, yet to be sorted out it is finished and the result is spectacular.

Work is now underway to develop presentation, exhibitions and guides to help visitors to understand more of the treasures of the building, its history and significance. Information will also focus on 3 historic characters closely associated with the Minster: William Sawtrey, Margery Kempe and Charles Burney.

The Minster remains on the Heritage At Risk Register because much of the 12th century stonework is becoming severely weathered, other areas of later stonework are beginning to fail, as is much of the 19th century mortar patching. Areas of the 19th century tile floors also need to be repaired.

Over £100,000 has been raised locally – from local people, local businesses and fund raising events which shows how much the Minster is valued by the local community. It always was, and remains the heart of King’s Lynn. Please help us raise the last 3% of the target to keep this spectacular building in sound condition. To make a donation – simply click the donate button below.

See the “Appeal” page for more details and photographs.

Completion of the building work will not be the end of the task, because the project will move on to improve visitors’ experience of the building, its history and treasures. The Minster offers a great deal of insight into local history and the development of art and architecture, as well as into religious history, so the project aims to make it easier to discover and appreciate what there is to see, and tell the stories of some significant characters associated with its history. There will also be more to offer students from local schools and colleges to support their curriculum.

Helping all kinds of people to appreciate this heritage is the major concern of the Heritage Lottery Fund which is contributing a quarter of the cost of the whole project, but a bigger proportion of the cost of this “engagement” phase of the project. Although the main target has been reached, fund raising will continue, partly to help pay for this heritage engagement work, but also because the final cost of building work won’t be known until it’s finished and there are always unexpected costs – and no end to urgent repairs! A celebration of completion of the building work is being planned for next summer at which point the heritage engagement part of the project will be launched to be developed over the following 18 months.

Over £100,000 has come from local people, local businesses and fund raising events, which shows how much the Minster is valued in the community – it always was and remains the heart of King’s Lynn.