Birmingham Cathedral secures National Lottery Heritage initial support for world-famous stained-glass windows.

Funds agreed for first project stage to conserve and interpret windowsdesigned by Pre-Raphaelite artist Edward Burne-Jones

Birmingham Cathedral has received initial support from The National Lottery Heritage Fund for Divine Beauty, it was announced today. Made possible by National Lottery players, the project aims to conserve and interpret the world-famous stained-glass windows designed by Birmingham born Pre-Raphaelite artist Edward Burne-Jones.

Development funding of £81,900 has been awarded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund to help Birmingham Cathedral progress their plans to apply for a full National Lottery grant at a later date.

The project aims to carry out essential conservation work to the stained-glass to remove the build-up of decades of dirt and debris and to replace the external protective grilles with a more sympathetic and bespoke alternative. The way the cathedral shares information about the windows will be improved with enhanced interpretation both inside and outside the cathedral, events and an education programme. The project will link with other sites in the city with a walking trail and tours. There will be a new short film and there will be opportunities for people to get involved, learn the history of the windows and the techniques by which they were made.

Birmingham Cathedral was built as the parish church of St Philip’s over 300 years ago and the four remarkable windows were added between 1885-1897. The windows are some of the finest examples of Birmingham artistry and hold an important place in the life of the city. During WWII the windows were removed courtesy of Birmingham Civic Society and placed in a slate mine in Wales for safekeeping. The duty of this generation is to ensure they are preserved and recognised for the future

The Dean of Birmingham, the Very Reverend Matt Thompson said: "We’re delighted that we’ve received this support thanks to National Lottery players. The stained-glass windows are a remarkable inspiration to visitors and worshippers from all over the world and we are pleased to be one step closer to their preservation.”

Visit here for more information on his wonderful project.

Clean sweep at Birmingham Cathedral as they support local social enterprise.

One of the oldest buildings in the city, Birmingham Cathedral, is also showing great community spirit by employing a member of the Jericho Cleaning social enterprise to keep the Cathedral immaculate in the new year.

Built in 1715 as the new parish church “on the hill”, St Philip’s is Grade 1 listed and a rare and fine example of elegant English Baroque architecture. The Cathedral is 'Mother Church' to theDioceseand hosts major diocesan celebrations including ordinations of priests and deacons to serve theDiocese. Situated in the heart of the business and administrative centre of the city, the Cathedral also has an important role in civic life, hosting Services and events through the year. The Cathedral is open every day for prayer, visitors, school parties or guided tours.

The Revd Canon Nigel Hand, Acting Dean of Birmingham (Canon Missioner), said: “We are delighted to be employing a member of the Jericho Cleaning social enterprise. We are keen to support local social enterprises and want to build our relationship with the Jericho Foundation. We wholeheartedly endorse their mission to help disadvantaged local people back into training, employment and ultimately a valuable place in society.”

Jericho Cleaning is a leading social enterprise which is growing rapidly and delivering high levels of social value in Birmingham and the surrounding areas. Jericho Cleaning provides a full range of contract hygiene services to a wide variety of businesses, schools and voluntary organisations. Jericho Cleaning sets high standards and works with those in real need - staff may suffer from a lack of skills or qualifications, homelessness or alcohol or substance misuse. One of the key priorities of Jericho Cleaning is to recruit people who are survivors of human trafficking.

Richard Beard, Chief Executive of Jericho said: “Birmingham Cathedral is one of the landmark buildings in the city of Birmingham and has been a truly beautiful place of Christian worship for hundreds of years. It is an honour to be providing our social enterprise services and we look forward to a long and mutually beneficial working relationship”.

The Jericho Foundation is a charity which breaks down barriers in society and supports disadvantaged people to become fulfilled, skilled and employed. Jericho works with a broad variety of deprived people who are struggling including young people, ex-offenders, homeless people and survivors of modern slavery. They provide work experience or paid employment in their eco-friendly social enterprises. Alongside this, Jericho deliver a holistic package of support, guidance and training which is tailored to each client’s personal needs. This help enables the clients to end their dependency on benefits, secure sustainable employment and become an inclusive and integrated part of their local community.

To find out more, please visit jericho.org.uk

For more information about the cathedral, please visit www.birminghamcathedral.com

Photo: Stephen Brooker, Cathedral Facilities Manager, David Ebanks, Jericho Cleaner, Chris Baxter, Cathedral Verger, and Nigel Lawrence, Jericho Cleaning Business Manager