Monumentum, Spring 2012

It’s tempting to herald the new year; to reflect on the economic trough we operate within. But neither fit the schedule or character of our current work. For one thing, our major project at Coventry Cathedral was begun last summer and has taken the last eight months of research, planning and partnership building. The ailing ruins of the old cathedral and its hidden store of salvaged stained glass — much of it six hundred years old — which are our focus, set our efforts within a much longer perspective. What we found when launching the Coventry campaign on 14 November — the 71st anniversary of the city’s bombing in 1940 — was a groundswell of support.

The Sikh and Muslim communities of Coventry immediately pledged their help; £10,000 in cash donations poured in from the public the City Council are firm partners in improving the Cathedral Quarter and everyone we speak to is interested in revealing the extraordinary historic assets of this overlooked city. We have been met with great generosity from contributors to our £10 million Stowe campaign, which is now within five figures, so 99% of the challenge is now completed. We are seeking a donor to get us over the line and claim victory on a £20 million restoration, a plan that would seem impossible were it to begin now.

The HLF has given the project a Round 1 pass with support for a new member of staff to spearhead the public access and interpretation centre, and BBC1’s Antiques Roadshow were sufficiently inspired to be filming two episodes at Stowe House this summer. Beyond the progress of work, there are a couple of coincidences with the start of 2012. We have moved offices to Farringdon, a vibrant creative quarter where we feel very much at home. And we have been joined by our new Project Manager Melissa Marshall and Development Manager Jules Osborn, who are clearly brilliant and committed. Yet the scale and variety of the sites at risk on the 2012 Watch — featured in this issue — reminds us that we can’t be complacent.

The resources necessary to provide professional support and the momentum of a campaign are great, and we are thankful for the ongoing support of both professional peers and supporters. So please join us at our events, spread the word and support us if you can. It’ll help us to generate more good news in hard times.

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