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Newcastle Cathedral: an outdoor sanctuary in the heart of the city

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Newcastle Cathedral: an outdoor sanctuary in the heart of the city

Published: 23 September 2021
As part of its recent £6 million renovation, Newcastle Cathedral has transformed its churchyard into a newly landscaped outside space, funded by Benefact Trust.
The new outdoor space will provide more than an opportunity for local people to find some green space in the city. The churchyard offers seating, imaginative landscaping, and terraces as a welcoming place of sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Puncturing the new paving is a ribbon of words linking ten stopping places and wrapping around the cathedral. The ribbon creates a series of flowing spaces that encourage visitors to explore the new churchyard and the words invoke a set of values for living: love, peace, justice and worth – values to remind people of what matters and how they can live better.
newcastle outdoor trail
A Benefact Trust grant of £80,000 supported the creation of this new outdoor sanctuary, but also helped to fund the cathedral’s new entrance which welcomed back visitors in August 2021, following the cathedral’s multi-million pound transformation.
The 20-month-long redevelopment was undertaken to re-establish the cathedral as a dynamic community hub and attraction in Newcastle city centre. It included an overhaul of the cathedral’s interior and the launch of a new community café, as well as the transformation of the outdoor space.
Café 16 will provide training, mentoring and employment opportunities for prison leavers; and interpretation panels with a new sound and light show will bring 900 years of cathedral history to life – chronicling the development of the cathedral.
Andrew Bass, Grants Officer for Benefact Trust, said: “We’re proud to have supported this amazing cathedral transformation. It was a pleasure to see the new Benefact Trust funded outdoor space in person and see first-hand how it will connect the community with the cathedral, but also how it will function as a space for quiet reflection in the heart of this busy city.”
John Sadler, Trustee and Coordinator for Newcastle Cathedral Trust, said: “Compared to the previous drab and unwelcoming churchyard, the landscaping has transformed it. We are extremely grateful for the funding from Benefact Trust.”
Newcastle heart of the city pavement slab

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