Pilgrim News


Gloucester Cathedral blessed with new solar panels

On Monday 21 November, the Very Reverend Stephen Lake, Dean of Gloucester switched on Gloucester Cathedral’s new solar panels for the first time. By doing so, the Cathedral – which is almost 1,000 years old - has become the oldest building of its type in the world to generate its own energy from solar technology.

You can view time lapse footage of the panels being installed below.

This ground-breaking venture is part of a £6m project (Project Pilgrim) supported by a £4.6m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to conserve and improve areas of the Cathedral for visitors.

150 panels were installed on the Cathedral’s nave roof by Gloucestershire-based renewable energy company, Mypower.

To mark the occasion, the Dean blessed the panels from the 100 foot high nave roof and the Cathedral’s famous tower was illuminated green. A celebratory reception was also held to thank supporters of the project.

Dean Stephen said:

“Gloucester Cathedral has a great tradition for combining the old with the new. By embracing this very modern technology, we are celebrating God’s gift of creation and making this remarkable building a greener and more sustainable place for future generations.

We are fortunate to have received overwhelming support for the project and are incredibly grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund and all the individuals who donated to help make it possible.”

Stephen Boyce, Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund South West Committee said:

“In continuous use since the 11th Century, Gloucester Cathedral has truly stood the test of time, standing witness to numerous inventions and technologies over the centuries. So it’s fantastic to see that, thanks to National Lottery players, the Cathedral has incorporated one of those technologies into what promises to be a bright – and green – future for the much-loved landmark. We’re delighted to support Project Pilgrim and look forward to celebrating its continuing success.”

The Right Reverend Nicholas Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury, Church of England's lead bishop for Environmental Affairs and Chair of the Environmental Working Group said:

“Sometimes the environmental challenges facing us can seem insurmountable but this outstanding project at Gloucester Cathedral will act as a beacon for others, renewing our hope and energising everyone who cares for our common home. They are a great encouragement to the wider Church.”

Ben Harrison, managing partner of Mypower, said:

“From the first moment I stepped onto the roof of this incredible building, I knew it was going to be a challenging but thrilling project to be involved in. Everyone has worked together in full cohesion to deliver a common goal, to protect the historic building and create a green energy source for the long-term sustainable future of the Cathedral. We are all incredibly proud of what has been achieved - it has been the opportunity of a lifetime.”


For more press information, interviews and images contact:

Theo Platt
Head of Development & Communications
Tel: 01452 874 963

Anne Cranston
Project Pilgrim Manager
Tel: 01452 874962

Notes for Editors:

About the Solar Panel Project

  • 150 solar pv panels have been installed on the Cathedral’s nave roof by Gloucestershire-based renewable energy company, Mypower
  • the system will generate 27,500kW of energy a year, enough to power seven semi-detached houses or make 250,000 cups of tea
  • energy costs will be reduced by 25 percent, saving £190,000 over the next twenty five years
  • the solar panels will be almost invisible from the surrounding area as the roof is 30 metres above the ground
  • time lapse photography was used to capture the installation
  • over 120 individuals donated to the project by ‘sponsoring’ a solar panel

About Gloucester Cathedral

Gloucester Cathedral stands at the heart of the city on a site of Christian worship that stretches back fifteen hundred years. As one of the finest medieval buildings in the country, it boasts an array of architectural styles and is the resting place of King Edward II and the site of Henry III’s coronation in 1216. Over 400,000 visitors are attracted to the site every year and it is supported by a team of over 450 volunteers.

About Project Pilgrim

Project Pilgrim will make Gloucester Cathedral a better place for everyone. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to improve and restore particular areas of the Cathedral, which will help the building fulfil its role as a place of dynamic spiritual, civic and heritage activity at the centre of Gloucester.

Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and through the generosity of Trusts and individuals, Project Pilgrim is an ambitious ten-year programme of capital development, regeneration and community engagement. It’s about involving people to bring the Cathedral’s history and religious purpose to life so everyone benefits. Project Pilgrim will provide opportunities for all people - whatever their age, background or faith - to learn about, respond to and interact with Gloucester Cathedral.

Project Pilgrim - through its vision to connect and engage with people and to restore parts of this ancient and iconic building - will ensure that Gloucester Cathedral remains at the very heart of the City and of the County.

You can find out more on our website – www.gloucestercathedral.org.uk/project-pilgrim

About the Heritage Lottery Fund

Thanks to National Lottery players, the Heritage Lottery Fund invests money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife.

www.hlf.org.uk  @heritagelottery

About the Church of England’s Shrinking the Footprint campaign
The Church of England's national environmental campaign exists to enable the whole Church to address – in faith, practice and mission – the issue of climate change. The campaign’s website lists over 191 alternative energy installations on church buildings throughout the country and organisers are delighted to add Gloucester Cathedral to the list.

http://www.shrinkingthefootprint.org   @CofECampaign

About Mypower
Mypower specialise in advising designing and installing Solar PV installations for all types of buildings, for detailed information and photos of the Cathedral installation see our dedicated web page.



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