It is not always widely understood that cathedrals up and down the country are, for the most part, self-funded. Independent from the central institutions of the Church of England and from dioceses, each cathedral is responsible for its own finances and does not receive regular government funding. Truro Cathedral is no exception and has to raise £1.3m to remain open every year. Dean Roger Bush shares his thoughts and thanks…
Truro Cathedral is a special place indeed, but it is only able to continue thanks to the generosity of its supporters. Without that support, the cathedral would not be able to provide all that it does to the communities of Cornwall today, nor would it be able to maintain and preserve the building for future generations. When the building of the cathedral commenced in 1880, it was built by the people of Cornwall for everyone to experience and enjoy. For some in the community the cathedral plays an enormous role, for others, it is a big pointy building in the middle of the city. Of course, as dean, I may have some bias, but I do believe this special place still plays an important part in our modern lives that truly offers something for everyone, whether of faith or none.
Of course, worship is central to cathedral life and last year the cathedral welcomed an estimated 30,000 people to its regular and special services. Congregations of all shapes and form continue to come together in this place to actively participate and share and support each other; whether for smaller, regular services such as Morning Prayer, or larger services, such as those held at Christmas and Easter. The special services held throughout the year, such as Remember Our Child, and the services of reflection for those affected by suicide, substance misuse or bereavement, offer comfort to the community. Then there are the important services that celebrate Cornish heritage, such as the Feast of St Petroc and Nine Lessons and Carols, and not forgetting the celebration of unconditional love that is evoked in the annual Carol Service for Pets!
Then there is Truro Cathedral Choir – which has honoured the choral tradition since the 1880s and makes an important contribution to the Cornish art scene. Not only does the choir sing at daily services, but performs three concerts each year and continues to put Cornwall on the map with live broadcasts on BBC Radio 3 and last year even an appearance on Britain’s Got Talent. And then there is everything else – the 60+ free community music events annually, from organ recitals to performances by community choirs and leading local musicians, and the large-scale music events and festivals, such as concerts by Truro Choral Society and the Cornwall International Male Choral Festival. And the unusual too – such as the catwalk in the nave for the always popular Truro Trend.
Just ‘being there’ is important too – whether as a place of education (I do love seeing the awe on the faces of our younger visitors when, on school tours, they are encouraged to look up and take in the gothic arches); or a meeting place for friends to enjoy a coffee; or a place of peace to sit, contemplate, reflect, remember loved ones perhaps. As dean, I work with the Chapter and executive, staff and volunteers of this wonderful place to try to ensure the cathedral lives out its ambition to be both sacred space and common ground. The cold reality though is that it costs £3,560 every single day of the year to do this. I want to extend a heartfelt thanks to everyone that has supported and donated in 2019 and ultimately enabled the cathedral to remain at the heart of the Cornish community for another year.
To continue though, the cathedral needs support in 2020 and beyond. There are lots of ways you can support and help your cathedral, from making a donation, helping to spread the word, signing up to receive regular updates, following the cathedral on social media, and even signing up to special online shopping portals! Whatever form your support takes, thank you for helping.
Visit our Get Involved page to find out how you can support the cathedral.