GLASTONBURY Abbey today announced a major half a million pounds appeal to rescue its ancient ruins.
Action is needed now to save the ruins for future generations and if everyone living or working in Somerset gave just £1 the appeal target would be reached.
To mark the launch and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee the Abbey is welcoming visitors for free on Friday June 1 from 6pm so they can see for themselves the work which is needed.
Janet Bell, acting director and curator, said: “We need to raise £500,000 to secure Glastonbury Abbey’s ruins for future generations.
“The Abbey has been here for hundreds of years and we want it to remain for hundreds more to come. But much will be lost or irreparably damaged if we don’t take action now.
“We are asking for everyone living and working in Somerset to donate a pound to protect this unique piece of history for our descendants.”
John Brendon, chairman of the Abbey’s Trustees, said: “ “We have recently revealed the exciting news that further studies of material from excavations at the Abbey in the last century provide the earliest archaeological evidence of Saxon glass-making in Britain.
“Further evidence, if it was required, of the importance of the Abbey both to Somerset and to the country.
“The trustees have given this project their backing and will be working to generate funding for this exciting work, which will also include initiatives to improve the experience for visitors. We hope you will be keen to help us and the Abbey as it once helped our ancestors.”
The work will fund conservation work and enhance the visitor experience to the Abbey in the following areas:
Everybody who donates will be recognised whether they give one pound or more with all names recorded on an online wall.
Fund-raising events are being organised by Abbey staff and grants applied for too.
Already businesses which work with the Abbey have offered their support to which the Abbey staff and Trustees extend their heartfelt thanks.
Philip Welch, editor of the Mid-Somerset Series, said: “Today we are pleased to announce our support for the Rescue Our Ruins appeal at Glastonbury Abbey.
“We live in difficult economic times so raising the necessary £500,000 to stop further decay of the ruins will not be easy.
“Some will argue that money would be better spent elsewhere but I believe we have a duty to save this irreplaceable piece of our heritage for future generations.
“Not only must the abbey be saved to give pleasure to our children’s children, but the mid-Somerset economy needs the visitors this tourist attraction brings.
“Jobs in manufacturing and agriculture have declined sharply here and in the future the tourists’ pounds will become ever more important for our region’s prosperity.”
Paul Cooper, director of web specialists, Happy Hare Media, said: “Happy Hare Media have a long association with the Abbey and are looking forward to supporting them as they move forward with the funds raised by the Rescue Our Ruins Appeal.
“Their website plays a vital role in the whole visitor experience and we are delighted to kick start the appeal by donating our time in order to create the new fundraising section.”
Logo designer Barnaby Adams, of Cuckooo Design Studio, said: "I'm delighted to support this fundraising, to help the preservation of the Glastonbury Abbey ruins.
“I love visiting the Abbey as it always evokes an inspiring sense of awe and wonder, not just to question the lives of those that built and inhabited it, but as a reminder of our own moment-in-time, right now! How do we choose to invest our time, energy and money and what legacy will our actions leave for future generations?"
Find out more at www.glastonburyabbey.com/rescueourruins