Montreal, May 30, 2017 – For the first time in more than 125 years, Montreal’s Christ Church Cathedral is appealing to the wider community to help save its mission to the public and the building that makes that mission possible.
The Major Fundraising Campaign has a goal of $8 million, to preserve the spire, interior and exterior of the building, and to support the cathedral’s rich musical tradition, public concerts and social services.
Campaign Chair Bruce McNiven announced that pledges and donations from the private sector so far total $1,423,429. On the public side, the Conseil du patrimoine religieux du Québec has contributed $1.17 million and has promised to consider annual grants that will allow the cathedral to cover the major part of the costs related to restoration and conservation. Parks Canada has financed preparatory studies related to the conservation project and is open to requests for further grants to support the actual work.
“Christ Church Cathedral can handle its day-to-day operations financially,” noted Mr. McNiven. “However, these one-time needs are well beyond the means of any parish. The campaign is very ambitious, but essential if the cathedral is to continue to serve its broadly based public and community mission on a sustainable basis into the future. It therefore merits the support of all Montrealers, whatever their background.”
Honorary Chair Sheila Goldbloom called the cathedral’s campaign “an example of what it means to live in a city where people of different faiths and approaches to life can work together to support the wider community.”
Bishop Mary Irwin-Gibson noted that “people from many different social and religious backgrounds come through the Cathedral’s red doors, which are open every day from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. To all, we offer an oasis of spiritual peace in the heart of Montreal.”
Repairing the cathedral’s iconic spire is the most urgent need. The internal steel structure is corroded, putting the spire at risk of toppling.
Repair exterior and upgrade roof, electrical system, heating and lighting. Add insulation and modern boiler, replace lighting and wiring, to protect the building and reduce its carbon footprint.
Refurbish the interior: Repair damage from leaking roof, restore original pews, replace flooring.
Enrich the musical experience: Restore the Karl Wilhelm organ to maximize exceptional sound quality and musical range. Replace the concert piano, to attract top-quality international pianists.
Improve accessibility: Install a lift so people with reduced mobility can access the mezzanine area, used by the Sunday School, choir, and community groups.
Endow the future work of the Social Service Society: Allow the century-old Society to maintain and broaden its exemplary community outreach. The Cathedral is active in issues concerning Amnesty International, international free trade, climate change, refugee sponsorship, as well as LGBTQ and aboriginal rights.
Total campaign target $8,000,000