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Catholic Union and Friends of Westminster Cathedral Team up for Fundraiser

The Catholic Union and the Friends of Westminster Cathedral hosted a joint event this week to raise funds for the Cathedral.

Around 30 members of the Catholic Union took part in a private tour of Westminster Cathedral on Monday 24 April, the Solemnity of St George. The tour was conducted by Professor Andrew Sanders, a former Vice-Chair of the Friends.

The tour is one of a number of events being organised by the Friends to mark the 120th anniversary of the completion of the Cathedral in 1903.

Professor Sanders told the group how the land the Cathedral was built on used to be marshland around the River Thames. Prior to the Cathedral being built, the site was used as a local prison, but thanks to the vision of Cardinal Vaughan and many others we have the famous landmark we know today.

Construction work on the Cathedral started in 1895 and was completed just eight years later. The first Mass was said in the Cathedral on 19 March 1903 in the Lady Chapel.

The Cathedral estimates that it costs £6,000 per day to keep its doors open. The Society of Friends of Westminster Cathedral was established as an independent charity founded in 1977 to support the life of the Cathedral.

James Somerville-Meikle, Deputy Director of the Catholic Union, comments: “We’re delighted to have partnered with the Friends for this event. The occasion of the Cathedral’s 120th anniversary is a moment for celebration, and an opportunity to help secure its future. For many Catholics in London, and across the country, the Cathedral holds a special place in our hearts. It has so often provided a place of peace and solace during moments of change and uncertainty. Thank you to Fr Slawomir Witoń and Professor Sanders for putting on such a wonderful evening. I hope the event is another step towards raising much needed funds for the Cathedral.”

Fr Slawomir Witoń, Administrator of Westminster Cathedral, says “I was delighted to welcome the members of the Catholic Union to the Mother Church of the Diocese, to share some of the history and the beauty with all who attended this special event. My hope from the evening is that it will help everyone to grow in appreciation of what the Cathedral is, what it represents, and its mission in today’s world”.