PREVIEW: In celebration of International World Heritage Day, Durham Cathedral holds a special Giving Day

Posted on April 16th 2018 by Whats on Northeast

18 April is a day designated by UNESCO as International World Heritage Day.  Local communities and individuals around the world are encouraged to consider the importance of cultural heritage to their identities, lives and communities, in particular the efforts required to protect and conserve heritage.

To mark International World Heritage Day 2018, Durham Cathedral is holding a special Giving Day to raise awareness and important funds to help maintain and conserve this Grade 1 listed Scheduled Ancient Monument and UNESCO World Heritage Site for generations to come.

The Cathedral recently launched Foundation 2020; a public fundraising campaign to raise money into endowment fund for fabric.  The aim is to build an endowment of £10 million by 2020 with income generated from the endowment used to fund the annual programme of maintenance and conservation of the Cathedral.   On April 18 all donations received by Durham Cathedral will be added to Foundation 2020.  This includes donations made at the Cathedral on the day by visitors and online donations made via

Donations received by the Cathedral on 18 April will be matched by the Durham Branch of Barclays Bank, which in turn will be match funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, effectively quadrupling donations made on the day.

Visitors to Durham Cathedral on 18 April will be able to enjoy a series of 15 minute pop up talks taking place in the North Transept illustrating different aspects of Cathedral life.   These range from the Cathedral’s Clerk of Works, Scott Richardson speaking about the Cathedral Tower repairs; the Very Reverend Andrew Tremlett, Dean of Durham, talking about the Changing Face of Christianity and the Significance of Cathedrals; and Cathedral Chapter members, Reverend Canon Professor Simon Oliver talking about the Liturgy and History of Evensong.  Full details can be found at

Gaye Kirby, the Cathedral’s Head of Development, says, “If we are able to create a £10 million endowment fund by 2020 this will support the day to day maintenance and conservation costs of the Cathedral in perpetuity, helping ensure it is cared for in an appropriate way for future generations to enjoy. Being able to share our faith and heritage globally is part of the Cathedral’s vision. We are hugely appreciative of the support for Foundation 2020 by National Lottery Players via the Heritage Lottery Fund, who are match funding all donations to Foundation 2020 up to £1million, and to Barclays Bank who are matching funding donations made on Wednesday 18 April as well as providing staff who are helping on the day itself.”

As part of the Giving Day, visitors to the Cathedral will be able to take photographs inside the Cathedral, and are encouraged to share them on social media using #GivingDay and #Foundation2020

Tours of the Cathedral are taking place on the 18 April and the Cathedral’s exhibition experience Open Treasure is open as usual, offering visitors the chance to discover the story of Durham Cathedral told through its outstanding collections.

World Heritage Celebrations continue on Saturday 21 April with a Heritage Skills Fair that includes public tours of the Cathedral’s Works Yard and talks about the challenges of conserving the Cathedral.  In additional there are public tours of the North-West Tower with stunning views over the City and beyond as well as family activities at the Durham World Heritage Site Visitor Centre.  The Cathedral and Open Treasure are open as usual.

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