The Prince of Wales becomes Patron of Westminster Abbey Appeal
Friday, 11th November 2011
The Dean and Chapter of Westminster are delighted to announce that His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales has agreed to become the Patron of Westminster Abbey's Appeal to fund its present range of development projects.
Funds have already been secured to make possible the conversion of a house in Dean's Yard into the Abbey's new Education Centre, which was opened by Her Majesty The Queen in 2010. Construction of the Cellarium refectory in a fourteenth century part of the mediaeval monastic buildings has now begun, and the new restaurant facilities will open in the early part of 2012.
By far the greatest part of the Abbey's fund-raising is now directed to the need to raise more than £12m, over the next four to five years, to make possible the opening up to the public of the unique and beautiful triforium, the galleries built by Henry III in the thirteenth century at the first floor level at the east end of the Abbey church. This will enable us to display in a purpose-built museum in the triforium many more of the Abbey's unique and precious artefacts, and give the visitor a stunning perspective over the Abbey and outside over the Houses of Parliament in what John Betjeman called 'the best view in Europe'. Depending on the rate of success of our fund-raising campaign we hope to be able to open the triforium to the public in 2015 / 2016.
These are important developments for the Abbey and we are proud that His Royal Highness has lent his support to them in this way.
Clarence House has said that the Prince of Wales has been delighted to give his personal support as Patron of the Appeal to the campaign to raise funds for these very significant improvements to this beautiful and much treasured building.
The Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend. Dr John Hall, said:
The Dean and Chapter is honoured that His Royal Highness has agreed to become Patron of the Abbey's Appeal. This is a very significant endorsement of the importance of the triforium project, which will improve in a genuinely transformational way the quality of access visitors have to the Abbey, and the quality of their understanding of this precious church. We are immensely grateful to The Prince of Wales for his personal commitment to the realisation of our development plans.
The Appeal is not at this stage a public fund-raising campaign, which the Abbey shall be considering carefully in the future.