Blackburn Cathedral fundraising night raises funds for cathedral quarter

The High Sheriff of Lancashire, Anthony Attard, with the Dean of Blackburn, The Very Revd. Peter How

The High Sheriff of Lancashire, Anthony Attard, with the Dean of Blackburn, The Very Revd. Peter Howell-Jones and pipe major Gary Burgess of 103 Regiment Royal Artillery - Credit: Pics; John Cocks

Lancastrians from all walks of life gathered in Blackburn for a colourful evening of fundraising designed to help pay for the continued development of the town’s cathedral quarter as a focus for cultural, religious and community events.

Guests were welcomed to the cathedral by Clitheroe’s town crier and the evening was hosted by the High Sheriff, Tony Attard, Lord Shuttleworth, the Lord Lieutenant, and Lady Shuttleworth and the Dean of Blackburn Cathedral, the Very Revd Peter Howell-Jones.

Fylde and England rugby legend Bill Beaumont was the guest speaker and there was further entertainment from comedian Norman Prince with music from the choristers of Blackburn Cathedral and an ensemble from the Lancashire Artillery Band. There was also a fundraising auction involving celebrity chefs, Nigel Haworth and Paul Heathcote. The occasion also saw the launch of Cathedra Gin, made in partnership with Brindle Distillery. It’s the first gin to be produced with the blessing of the church and early sales have been promising.

After the successful development of the Blackburn Cathedral Quarter, Lancashire’s only Anglican cathedral now has a £3 million plan to turn the dark and uninviting crypt into a centre for heritage with the emphasis on exhibitions, community events and music. It will enable the cathedral to display its extensive archives as well as items such as a Saxon hammer and silver chalices from the reigns of Elizabeth I and Charles I.

The Lottery Heritage Fund has indicated that the money for the project would be available so long as it was matched by £950,000 raised locally. The Blackburn Cathedral Appeal has until next June to hit the target and there are more events being planned.

The event was the idea of the High Sheriff and Ann Dean, the fund’s chairman, who said: ‘It was an extremely successful and colourful evening, which raised £18,000. People who wish to make further donations should go to or call me on 07710 500 802.’