Norwich Cathedral Friends celebrate 90th birthday
For nine decades the Friends of Norwich Cathedral have been true champions of the historic landmark, and the group’s 90th anniversary will be celebrated with a special digital service to be published on the Norwich Cathedral Services YouTube Channel on Sunday 17 May.
Friendship will be the theme of the Eucharist and the service will be recorded from the Bauchon Chapel.
The Friends of Norwich Cathedral was first founded in 1930 to be a network of supporters of Norwich Cathedral and to help maintain its fabric, and since then the group has raised the equivalent of £22 million to help support the repair, maintenance and conservation of the Cathedral.
The Queen, who is patron of the Friends, sent the organisation her best wishes for the 90th anniversary year.
“Throughout my reign the Charity has provided continual support to the Cathedral, together with funding vital development and maintenance projects,” the Queen said.
The Dean of Norwich, the Very Revd Jane Hedges, said: “We are incredibly blessed at Norwich with our Cathedral Friends who have contributed so much over the last 90 years, enabling the fabric of the Cathedral to be kept in remarkably good condition.
“In addition to helping with the routine maintenance of the building, they have also generously supported many special projects. In recent years they have helped pay for the new nave chairs, the new lighting, the access to the cloister garth, the new figures of Her Majesty the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, the nativity figures purchased from Bethlehem, and have contributed to the Organ Appeal.
We wish them a happy anniversary and hope that we will be able to celebrate this anniversary together in due course.”
The Friends of the Cathedral Church of Norwich, as the society was first known, was formed on February 18 1930, with the generous patronage of King George V, Queen Mary and other members of the Royal Family.
Among the key projects the Friends have helped support financially over the decades are the repair of the Cathedral organ in the 1940s, and a programme of major repairs in the 1960s and 1970s which included the repair and strengthening of the tower, new foundations under parts of the cloisters, and the replacement of the nave and aisle roofs.
In the 1990s the Friends helped with the restoration of the west window in the nave and in the new millennium the Friends also gave £1m towards the development of the Hostry and Refectory.
Nowadays, the Friends’ focus is on the Cathedral’s Music Appeal for which they have already raised more than £220,000.
Currently there are 1,500 members of the Friends of Norwich Cathedral. As well as helping to support the Cathedral, members of the Friends also enjoy taking part in different events including a regular programme of talks and other social occasions.
To find out more about becoming a Friend of Norwich Cathedral, visit cathedral.org.uk