Ahead of this year’s Second Collection for the Cathedral of St John the Evangelist, Mother Church of the Diocese, which is scheduled to take place on 21st January, Canon James McAuley, Cathedral Dean, Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia puts the financial needs of the Cathedral in context. He writes…
“I became Dean of our Cathedral Church of St John the Evangelist in September 2022. Since then, the parish has paid for emergency repairs of serious leaks in the Blessed Sacrament and St Patrick chapels, and in the Discovery Centre, which cost £23,060 in total. The cost of these repairs was paid for by parishioners, who responded generously to an appeal for contributions. In January 2023, the 120-year-old West Window began to collapse because of deterioration in the lead work. Its restoration was completed in December 2023 at an estimated final cost of more than £100,000. So far, we have raised almost £38,000 towards the cost of restoration of the West Window. These projects have used up virtually all the Cathedral’s available funds.
The heating and electrical systems are in urgent need of upgrading. One of the three boilers, which heat the Cathedral and Cathedral House, has been broken since spring 2022. The money I had allocated to replace it had to be diverted to pay for the repairs to the West Window. The two remaining boilers both failed in late November 2023. After a week of no central heating, the two boilers were repaired, but we have been advised that all three boilers have come to the end of their useful life, having been installed about 25 years ago. We have no money to replace the boilers, never mind upgrade the heating system to a more energy efficient, “greener” system.
In the summer of 2023, the quinquennial architectural survey was completed and the report we received in September outlined work required over the next five years to the roof, windows, heating, and electrical systems at an estimated cost of more than £1 million.
I fully appreciate the financial pressures being felt by you and by your parishioners but would appeal to you to promote and support the Second Collection for the Cathedral on 21st January. Never has this annual collection by parishes for the Mother Church of the Diocese been more critical or needed. Your support is vitally important to us.”