After 2 years, Leicester Cathedral is open again.
It’s been almost two years, but this Sunday (26 Nov 2023) Leicester Cathedral will reopen its doors to visitors and worshippers marking a a significant milestone on its journey.
After two years Leicester Cathedral is to re-open on Sunday 26th November.
The re-opening is the culmination of the first phase of the ambitious £15m Leicester Cathedral Revealed – the project to restore and renew the building “so that it can be its very best as a place of worship, heritage, pilgrimage, hospitality, learning, sanctuary and celebration”.
Doors will open this Sunday (26 Nov) at 10 am for the first Eucharist at 10.30 am with visitors welcome from 12.30 pm. There will be a Festal Choral Evensong at 3.30pm.
Leicester Cathedral Revealed is made possible through the generous support of The National Lottery Heritage Fund and other donors. Developments include a fully accessible and environmentally friendly heated limestone floor, and the renewal of its interior to enhance its natural beauty. The final phase of the project will see the opening of a Heritage and Learning Centre joined to the Cathedral next summer that will house an interactive exhibition space, a dedicated learning and community area, as well as toilet facilities.
The Revd Canon Karen Rooms, Acting Dean of Leicester, explained the project:
“We are restoring and renewing Leicester Cathedral so that it can be its very best as a place of worship, heritage, pilgrimage, hospitality, learning, sanctuary and celebration.
“We needed to do this because the cathedral spaces were inflexible and inadequate for current and future use. The infrastructure – lighting, heating, and decorations – needed to be upgraded. And the tenfold increase in visitors, who come to see the tomb of King Richard III, made the need more urgent.
“That is why we have decided not only to restore our Cathedral but to transform it.
Leicester Cathedral Revealed is our project to put the building back into good order, create more space for learning, better manage visitor flow, and improve the individual experience of being within the Cathedral.
“We have chosen the word ‘revealed’ for our project as it speaks to us of the industrial prosperity of the Victorian period – which the Cathedral reveals as a living story told in stone, fabric and glass.
“It tells of the pioneering spirit of reform – applauded by the church and exemplified by the Arts & Crafts movement.
“And it celebrates the convening power of the Cathedral – to reveal the Christian message and to promote compassion and peace in a city and county where all religions are respected, she added.
Since it closed its doors in January 2022, the Cathedral has gone mobile, moving between different churches across the diocese.
It is this programme of Together With that is at the heart of the Cathedral’s restoration and renewal project and its unique mission and ministry for future generations, fulfilling its role as ‘the mother church of the diocese’ and sharing with the Bishop in his ministry across city and county.
The Revd Canon Karen Rooms continued: “We’ve been learning how to be good guests and it’s been a joyful experience.
“It has ranged from singing in the woods for a Bluebell service, to joining congregations in all four corners of the Diocese. We’ve introduced different churches to our Cathedral Choir, and they have sung back to us, we’ve introduced some to Evensong for the first time, and they’ve sung back to us.
“Wherever we’ve been it has been joyful and we’ve had a presence that speaks of so much more than the physical building in the middle of the city.
“And when we re-open, we will repay that hospitality, and welcome everyone back as they have welcomed us along the way.”
Robyn Llewellyn, Director, England, Midlands & East at The National Lottery Heritage Fund said,
“We are incredibly pleased by the re-opening of Leicester Cathedral, after a significant investment of over £6.3 million from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.
“Thanks to National Lottery players, visitors from far and wide will be able to visit the Cathedral and see the fantastic conservation work and improvements that have been undertaken. We are also looking forward to discovering the fascinating stories of the cathedral’s history, along with the heritage of the city and its people in late summer 2024 when the Heritage Learning Centre is due to open.
“Leicester has recently been chosen as one of our inaugural nine Heritage Places, part of our pioneering 10-year investment initiative. We believe that projects such as Leicester Cathedral Revealed and working at scale in an area can deliver profound impact for its local community, visitors and economy.”
Visit www.leicestercathedral.org for more details of the reopening, and opening hours of the Cathedral.