Lord Rowan Williams

Faith and religious practice are persistently present in contemporary society. Nowhere can the impact of this be seen more clearly than in the multi-faith city of Leicester. Here, the cathedral offers a vision of faith driven by its belief in the need to make society fairer and more peaceable. The cathedral’s work in offering hospitality to the homeless, learning from the disadvantaged, offering welcome to refugees and providing a place of encounter for all regardless of creed or culture is an exemplar for how generous Christian faith can be so vital for the flourishing of the whole of society. None of this can be achieved in splendid isolation. Leicester Cathedral’s project of restoration and renewal is an important act in the furtherance of its mission and outreach. I have watched the revival of fortunes in what was until quite recently one of the least known and under-resourced cathedrals in England. This revival is thanks to the vision and determination of its leadership, clergy, volunteers and staff. Leicester Cathedral absolutely deserves to secure all the funding needed for its great plan and I will do what I can, as patron, in support of that.

Jon Snow

When I was Channel 4’s anchor man for the live coverage of the re-interment of King Richard III, I wrote ‘I think Leicester has achieved something quite extraordinary. It feels as if the whole community has rallied to this day. I don’t think there is another cathedral or city that could have pulled this off with such perfection.’ So, when I was approached and asked if I would be patron of their project Leicester Cathedral Revealed, I was happy to accept. There is a collective good will and friendship that seems to exist across all faiths and cultures within the city, with the cathedral as a gathering point for all this. I am particularly impressed by the cathedral’s commitment to working with the homeless and other disadvantaged groups. This project will considerably expand its capacity for good works in a city which, more than many, has great need of its charitable mission.

Professor Michael Wood
My connection with Leicester goes back many years. My documentary series Kibworth – The Story of England was filmed nearby and in the city. I am proud to have an honorary degree from the University of Leicester and I am also patron of the Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society. The history of Leicester goes back beyond the Romans – a story I told in my book The Story of England. The tale of the cathedral and the earlier churches on its site also goes back deep into the city’s past. Although I am a specialist in early medieval Britain – and Leicester is a fascinating medieval city – I have a deep interest too in nineteenth century history. This defining period, in which the Victorian imagination embraced and drove radical change, has been woven into many of my documentaries, including Leicester’s very own Kibworth (in which the Chair and Deputy Chair of the fundraising panel participated by digging up part of their garden)! That is why I am so interested in this project, particularly in the Heritage Learning Centre which will celebrate and share the rich stories from the cathedral’s and city’ s past. It is really important that these human stories are remembered and interpreted – whether Victorian entrepreneurs seeking to effect social change or the creative Arts & Crafts thinkers who celebrated a more domestic creativity. These stories help us towards a deeper understanding of the heritage of our cities, churches and their communities, which are just as interesting and important as the stories of monarchs and wars.

Clare Balding

I want to be involved in projects I believe in, that bring people together, that make a difference to our lives and that’s why I want to support this initiative. What really impresses me about Leicester Cathedral is its role as a gathering point for people of all faiths or none, all cultures and backgrounds, treating everyone absolutely equally. This project will give greater impetus to this role which is why it is so important that it succeeds. I know the Dean of Leicester Cathedral from his appearances on my Good Morning Sunday radio programme. I have no doubt that, under his leadership, this Leicester Cathedral Revealed will be delivered with exceptional vigour and panache. And, on a more personal level, my family reaches back to the Plantagenets on my mother’s side, so it feels really good to be supporting the cathedral which cares for the tomb of the last Plantagenet king of England.