On Tuesday 2 September Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire, Dame Mary Fagan, DCVO, JP, formally opened Winchester Cathedral’s refurbished Learning Centre (formerly the Education Centre), followed by a Blessing by The Dean of Winchester, The Very Revd James Atwell. The keys to the newly refurbished building were subsequently handed over to the Director of Learning, Cheryl Bryan by the Cathedral’s Receiver General, Canon Annabelle Boyes.
The former Education Centre has been being refurbished since Spring this year. Its reopening is the first significant milestone in the capital projects which were made possible as a result of the £10.5m Heritage Lottery Fund grant to the Cathedral announced in July 2013. This is alongside fundraising on the part of Winchester Cathedral Trust (which Dame Mary chairs), a generous grant from Hampshire County Council and a number of other trusts and organisations.
It will continue to welcome approximately 25,000 young people every year from around the world as they discover the 1000-year heritage of Winchester Cathedral and its life today.
The Learning Centre will also continue to be the home of The Resources Room, a joint venture between the Diocese of Winchester and Winchester Cathedral. It contains a large selection of faith-related books, artefacts, DVDs, posters and Godly Play sets, which can be viewed on site for free, or which can be borrowed for a small fee. It will be open on Mondays and Thursdays from Thursday 11 September between 10am to 4.30pm and information about what is on offer is from email@example.com or 01962 737 349.
Dame Mary, opening the Learning Centre, spoke of her delight at being able to be involved, not only in the development, but now its re-opening. Whilst Cheryl Bryan spoke of her joy at being able to welcome young people to a fully accessible, state of the art centre in which they will feel valued and inspired.
This reopening is the first stage of a two-part project, the next stage being a new auditorium to the rear of the existing centre, which will offer additional facilities for young visitors during the day, and a community space for a range of activities at other times. It is due to be completed in the Spring of 2015.
More details about progress on all of the Cathedral’s capital projects is available from:
For information about taking a school or youth group to Winchester Cathedral, contact Cheryl Bryan on 01962 857 224 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Look out also for Children’s Activities (mostly in school holidays) on www.winchester-cathedral.org.uk