Heritage Preservation Appeal
The Heritage Preservation Appeal aims to preserve the Abbey’s priceless heritage and ensure that this special place is here forever and for everyone.
The Appeal will help to protect three key areas of the Abbey that have been badly impacted since Covid began: the conservation of the Abbey, care of the Abbey Collections and the continuation of our rich musical tradition through our Choir and Choir School.
A 95% drop in toursim
The pandemic has hit us like no other crisis. Pre-Covid, we were blessed with close to 1.3 million visitors per year, but in 2020/2021 we welcomed only 57,000 people through our doors.
We are almost completely reliant on tourism, so this loss of visitors has had a huge impact. 85% of our visitors come from overseas so, until international travel picks up, the Abbey will continue to run at an unsustainable loss.
Lack of financial support
As a Royal Peculiar, we receive no financial support from the Church of England, and therefore do not have traditional income sources to fall back upon in the way that other major cathedrals might. We also receive no funding from the government or Crown.
The Abbey is also the church of the coronation and the place of many of the country’s greatest state occasions. The role that we play on behalf of the nation means we must remain viable at all times, but it cannot be overstated that we have no sources of revenue to fall back on aside from our own – and the generosity of supporters like you.
Maintaining iconic architecture
The main structure of the present Abbey dates to 1269, built during the reign of Henry III, although there are elements dating from the 10th to the 21st centuries. It is made of seven different types of stone, has miles of intricate pipework, acres of leaded roofing, and vast areas covered by stained glass, to give an idea of its complexity. Even the most basic maintenance in a building of this age and size is a costly endeavour and cannot be neglected.Architecture
Caring for historic collections
Meanwhile, our collections include over 25,000 books and hundreds of thousands of unique documents and manuscripts, making it one of the most important archives of material relating to Church and State in the country. It holds wide-ranging collections of paintings, textiles, sculpture, and furniture, much of which is either still used in worship or on display in the Abbey. As far as possible, the collections are also made available for study and research.Library and research
Protecting financial support for choristers
The Choir’s primary purpose since its foundation has been the singing of daily services. It also plays a central role in the many royal, state and national occasions, many of which are broadcast across the world.
The Abbey subsidises 80% of the cost for all choristers to board at our Choir School. This allows us to ensure that no chorister is turned away on financial grounds and strengthens the Abbey’s commitment to broadening access to this unique musical education.
Can you help?
The Abbey would be grateful for any contribution you can make during this time as we strive to protect not just the historical fabric of the Abbey, but also our craftspeople, conservators, curators, and musicians, whose knowledge and expertise cannot be easily replaced if lost.Donate