November 13, 2020
Peterborough Cathedral has launched a Christmas appeal inviting people to join in helping to keep the doors of this great building open – not just for Christmas but throughout the year. The Christmas Keys appeal offers donors a unique opportunity to have their own message written on a decorative red-ribboned key, to be hung on the Christmas tree inside the Cathedral.
The Cathedral has continued to be a place of reassurance and hope during this challenging year, in spite of income from visitors and events being dramatically reduced. Since the first lockdown ended, people have come to explore its history, marvel at its architecture, attend worship, pray privately, or simply to enjoy the beauty of its green spaces. The doors have stayed open online too, with live streamed services every Sunday, as well as on special occasions such as VE Day, VJ Day and Remembrance Sunday.
Lighting and heating the Cathedral alone costs £90,000 a year, and to keep the grounds maintained and in good order costs a further £60,000. There are many other unavoidable costs in making sure the Cathedral is a safe and special place, quite apart from repairs to its Grade 1 listed fabric.
The Cathedral makes no formal charge to enter and receives no regular financial support towards these annual costs from local or central government, nor from the diocese and its churches. It works hard to find grants from all possible sources, including the Church of England, but these only cover part of its outgoings, so the support of individuals and companies remains vital.
The Very Revd Chris Dalliston, Dean of Peterborough, said: “Like many charities and businesses we have experienced a drastic fall in our income this year. The government’s furlough scheme and one-off grants from other sources have helped to reduce the impact of this, but the reality is that we still need donations if we are to continue to be open for all who come. For many this is an uncertain and difficult time financially, but if you and your family, friends or colleagues are able to club together and support our Christmas Keys appeal you would be making a huge difference. You will be helping this Cathedral to remain a place of welcome, unlocked and accessible for everyone at the heart of the city.”
Keys are the symbol of St Peter, the patron saint of the city and its cathedral.