It’s Advent for Coventry Cathedral business fund-raising drive

Pictured: Matt Feeley (Coventry Cathedral), Adam Dent (Advent), the Very Reverend John Witcombe (Coventry Cathedral), Lee Corden (Advent)
Advent Cathedral 4[2]

A new campaign to help secure open access to one of the region’s most iconic buildings has had an early – and very appropriate boost.

Coventry Cathedral scrapped admission fees in May 2018 in a move to allow all visitors to enjoy the unique experience and is now launching an initiative to attract companies to help maintain free admission.

The campaign will see businesses adopt a single day throughout 2020 and one Coventry company has stepped in early to kick-start the drive before the turn of the year.

Advent Communications, a media and communications company based in the city has donated funds to mark the first Sunday in December – the start of Advent.

Now the company is urging others to follow suit and help the Cathedral stay open to all and to attract more visitors to the landmark building and also the city.

Advent Managing Director Adam Dent said: “Coventry Cathedral is a genuinely iconic building and it inspires people from across the globe to come to the city.

“They visit for reasons ranging from faith to architecture and from history to an extensive events package which the Cathedral hosts, so it is imperative that free access is maintained.

“It is in the interests of the commercial community in Coventry that we attract as many visitors as possible, to continue to improve the image of the city, but also for the associated spend it brings.

“The Cathedral has made huge strides in recent years to be more accessible for everyone in the community and it just seemed right for us to help them in that push – and there seemed no more appropriate weekend to become involved.”

The Cathedral has massively widened its cultural offer over the last two years and recently attracted 16,000 people to Where Light Falls – a light and poetry installation organised through Historic England.

Matt Feeley, Head of Fundraising at Coventry Cathedral, said support from business was vital in the effort to avoid admission charges.

“We officially launch on January 1, 2020, and the campaign has been really well received. Advent heard about the idea at a recent corporate event we held and felt it was perfect timing for them to be the first company to help us.

“We are hoping that many more follow suit. As part of our commitment to civic leadership we work very closely with companies and organisations of all sizes and we feel they appreciate the need for the Cathedral to be a magnet for visitors to the city. This initiative is part of our wider plan to increase our impact and spread our special message of reconciliation.”