An appeal to fund the transformation of Holy Trinity Church, Hull’s most amazing place, has passed the £2m milestone following a series of donations, large and small.
The news comes just four months after the public launch of the project to create an amazing future for the magnificent 700-year-old church as a beacon and catalyst for the regeneration of Hull’s Old Town.
The fund stood at £1.5m at the launch, but has now reached almost half of the £4.5m needed to restore and re-order Holy Trinity, England’s largest parish church and Hull’s finest Grade 1 listed building.
Recent donations have included a single gift of £130,000 by a former Hull man who now works in the financial sector in London and wishes to remain anonymous, as well as a series of other substantial donations and many much smaller sums from members of the congregation and supporters.
The Vicar of Holy Trinity, the Rev Canon Dr Neal Barnes, said: “It’s so encouraging that, by making these donations, people are showing they believe in the vision for Holy Trinity.
“By putting their hands in their pockets they demonstrate that they really want this to happen and they trust in us to deliver it. By donating so generously, they encourage others to do likewise.”
Holy Trinity Management Group member Nick Hildyard said: “I know the gentleman who has donated £130,000 personally and I am absolutely delighted that he has supported the project so magnificently.
“We need everyone to do their very best to support us. For some people that will be six-figure gifts; for others it will be much smaller sums, reflecting their means. It all adds up – every gift matters.”
Project organisers say that, in addition to donations received since the launch, they have developed relationships with a wide range of potentially substantial donors and are exploring several trusts and foundations that may support the project.
They have also been stunned by the generosity and sacrifice of members of the congregation, including one elderly churchgoer who has twice given £300.
The parishioner, who is aged over 80, made the first donation from their life savings immediately after the launch, and then saved sums weekly to make a further £300 donation in person to Dr Barnes at a Sunday service.
Dr Barnes added: “Everyone involved in this project is so overwhelmed by the generosity of individual members of the congregation who are supporting the project financially, in addition to what they give in the weekly collections at services.
“For some, it’s not just generous, it’s sacrificial giving. From someone of limited means, a small gift is actually a huge amount, because it’s above and beyond what anyone could reasonably expect.”
The development project will enable Holy Trinity to replace outdated and inadequate facilities; enhance its amazing heritage; become much more accessible to the community; and host a huge range of cultural and social events.
The transformation includes the creation of an open, flexible space within the church for Christian worship, as well as effectively creating a beautiful and iconic new venue for banquets, concerts and cultural events. The addition of a stylish new café of the highest quality will help to draw local people and visitors to Hull into the heart of the Old Town all year round.
Meanwhile, outside the church, Trinity Square will be transformed with a stunning piazza-style public space as the centrepiece of regeneration of the Old Town in readiness for Hull’s year as UK City of Culture in 2017. The plans for Trinity Square have been developed jointly by Holy Trinity and Hull City Council and will see the churchyard and square become a seamless space.
Crucially, the changes will create new income streams to secure a long-term sustainable future for Holy Trinity as a spectacular, vibrant and welcoming place of worship and community use, enjoyed by local people of all ages and by visitors to Hull.
· Anyone who would like to support the project should contact Director of Development, Brian Gilliland, on 07768 301707 or firstname.lastname@example.org You can find out more about our plans at http://www.holytrinityhull.com/amazing-development/ and donate online here: http://www.holytrinityhull.com/how-to-support-us/