Page last updated at 11:46 GMT, Tuesday, 20 October 2009 12:46 UK

Cathedral raises cash with rubble

Peterborough Cathedral piece
The small piece of stone was sold to a Peterborough resident

Pieces of rubble from Peterborough Cathedral are to be sold to help raise £30,000 for a restoration project.

It follows an idea from BBC Radio Cambridgeshire presenter Paul Stainton - who sold a piece on the online auction site eBay last month for £21.

Stone chippings from the cathedral will now be sold for £5, with the money going towards essential conservation work.

The cathedral is now in its final phase of a three-year West Front Project.

We're only going to be selling bits that have naturally fallen off
The Reverend Canon Richard Cattle, fundraising manager

A campaign began in 2007 to raise £600,000 to repair the damage caused by centuries of atmospheric pollution.

The project is now into its last phase and needs £30,000 by November, before the scaffolding is due to come down.

Thirteen bidders

Last month, presenter Paul Stainton took a trip to the top of the cathedral with author Ken Follett, a supporter of the restoration project.

While there, he noticed rubble from the work and offered to sell a small piece on eBay.

It attracted 13 bids and sold for £21.

Realising this could be another way to raise money, small pieces of the 800-year-old, locally-quarried Barnack limestone are now on sale in the gift shop.

"We have a lot of rubble and stonework that's been chipped away during the restoration project," said Reverend Canon Richard Cattle.

"But we're only going to be selling bits that have naturally fallen off."

To hit the target, nearly 6,000 pieces will need to be sold.

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