Helping Bristol Cathedral provide a truly warm welcome
An Allchurches Trust grant is enabling essential fabric work including a new boiler and fire protection.
Bristol Cathedral has a number of exciting projects in the pipeline aimed at encouraging more people in the community to visit the building.
Yet the fabric and facilities were holding the projects back. The boiler was old and not working well, while the toilet facilities were no longer adequate to meet the cathedrals’ needs.
The back offices also urgently needed better fire protection. Situated in the twelfth century gatehouse, the lack of adequate fire protection was putting members of staff at risk, as well as the building itself.
Doing the groundwork
A grant from Allchurches Trust helped Bristol to carry out much-needed refurbishment work.
The fire protection work began in January 2015 and involved installing emergency lighting, a new fire escape and a fire shutter over a window. Intumescent panelling was also installed, enabling people to see the exits in the case of a fire.
At the same time, work began on upgrading the toilet facilities. There are now five ladies’ toilets, and a refurbished gents’ toilet. The feedback from the existing congregation has been very positive – one lady said she had been waiting 25 years for new toilets!
The boiler work is a more complex operation and is due to be completed in March 2016. Now that the basics are in place, Bristol aims to harness some of the creative talent in Bristol to enhance the visitor experience. For instance, digital projection could provide light shows for autistic children or a chronological display for history buffs.
“The Allchurches Trust grant is so valuable for organisations like us,” says Wendy Matthews, Chapters Clerk, “it’s a long term commitment that is particularly appreciated.”