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"It could go bankrupt..." no solution yet for Guildford Cathedral

3 minute read
"It could go bankrupt..." no solution yet for Guildford Cathedral

Published at 6:01am 6th June 2017.

Days after the Archbishop of Canterbury visits Guildford Cathedral - a plea goes out to help keep it open.

Speaking to Eagle, the Bishop of Dorking said the community needs to pull together to save it from closing down.

The future of the iconic Guildford landmark is still in doubt after an application for a housing development on Cathedral land was rejected by the council.

Currently, there is now only enough funding left in its coffers till the end of this year.

In February, the Dean of Guildford, Dianna Gwilliams, said: "Unlike many cathedrals which are older, we have no historic endownment.

"And so we are at a very perilous place with our finances and without the money from the endowment that we will we receive from the land sale we will not be able to continue.

"The Cathedral has no future after the end of 2017 - and that's a really serious place to be in."

On Sunday (June 4), the Archbishop of Canterbury visited the cathedral for Thy Kingdom Come - an afternoon of pilgrimage, prayer, and service.

The Most Reverend Justin Welby has been reported in the Telegraph as saying that the Church will not bail out the Cathedral if it goes under.

Now, the Right Reverend Dr Jo Wells has told us there is still no resolution - and that more needs to be done to secure its future: "It is a reality - it could go bankrupt.

"We have not got the funding to keep the place open 365 days a year, as has been the case for the last 60 years.

"What then does one do with the Cathedral? Who knows."

"We need to find a secure future."

She said they are currently looking at various ways to bring money in: "We seek to work together with the people of Guildford - it's obviously a really important landmark for our town - it was part of our bid to become a city, not so long ago.

"I know there is an enormous amount of goodwill and longing for the place.

"But perhaps together we need to work to imagine what that might be - we haven't found the right solution yet."

She suggested the venue could be used host large scale events as one way of generating income: "It can be used not only for worship but for events, we don't actually have a big events space in Guildford."

And she reiterated that the town needs a cathedral - if it wants to have city status one day: "If Guildford is ever going to become a city, surely that Cathedral is one of the foundation pieces for such a bid."




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