Network Norwich and Norfolk > Regional News > News Archive > 2007 news archive > Norwich cathedral gets £1m Lottery boost

Norwich cathedral gets £1m Lottery boost


An impression of the visitor centre at St John
An impression of the visitor centre at St John's RC Cathedral
One of Norwich's most eye-catching places of worship is closer to being a “player in the big league” of iconic buildings after getting a £1m lottery handout.

St John's Roman Catholic Cathedral is getting the cash for a £2.7m extension, which will extend the building's range of cultural and educational facilities.

The grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund means the appeal to enhance the 97-year-old listed building on Earlham Road is now £800,000 short of its target.

The extension - known as the Narthex - will be built as part of a drive to increase the number of educational visits by schoolchildren and open up the building for wider use as a venue for arts and music events.

Current facilities are to be replaced by new and accessible spaces, as part of the vision to make the cathedral an open and inviting place to visit.

Bishop of East Anglia the Rt Rev Michael Evans said: “Our plan is to draw St John's Cathedral ever deeper into the life of our county of Norfolk and our two-cathedral city of Norwich as a way of serving the wider community. This project is a vital step in that direction.”

Cathedral Dean Fr James Walsh said: “This major grant is a milestone on our journey towards making St John's a player in the big league among the iconic buildings of Norwich.

“The city's second cathedral has much to offer people of all faiths and none and every walk of life.

“Although primarily a place of prayer and home to a large and flourishing community, the new centre will provide facilities for new educational and cultural activities that will enrich the life of the city and the region.

“It will also help us to welcome the region's new migrant workers, many of whom look to St John's as a home from home.”

Robyn Llewellyn, Heritage Lottery Fund manager in the east of England, said: “This award will be hugely beneficial for everyone from local people to the thousands of visitors that come to Norwich from around the world to explore its history”.

Work should begin on site next year and be completed within 12 months.

The cathedral, designed by George Gilbert Scott Jr, is the most complete example of neo-gothic ecclesiastical architecture in the country.

To make a donation to the project, call the cathedral development office on 01603 615288 or e-mail


Article courtesy of



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