Page last updated at 19:24 GMT, Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Cathedral raises 9m in two years

Craftsman on Canterbury Cathedral roof
Work has begun on the south-east transept (Jason Dodd Photography)

An appeal to save Canterbury Cathedral has raised 9m of the 50m it needs to stop the Kent landmark from crumbling.

Organisers of the campaign, launched two years ago, said it had made a fantastic start but still had a long way to go to save the building.

The 900-year-old cathedral, which is visited by about one million people a year, has a leaking roof and deteriorating stonework.

Work to repair the roof of the south-east transept has already been started.

The project to replace 20 tonnes of lead covering will cost 500,000.

Chief executive of the appeal, Matthew Butler, said fundraising efforts still had some years to run.

Anonymous donors

"The people of Kent have been and continue to be fantastically generous and we really couldn't be more grateful," said Mr Butler.

He said events including concerts and dinners had been held and a Mini car had been donated to be raffled.

There had also been gifts of "tens of thousands of pounds each" from anonymous donors.

"Now we have got 9m we know we can fund the work we have planned for the next couple of years," said Mr Butler.

"Next year we want to start work on Christ Church Gate, which is the medieval gate and the way into the cathedral for most people, which is getting a bit crumbly.

"We have also got a leaky library, which is not a good idea with lots of medieval books around."

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