Top: The Celtic cross outside the south-west porch of the Cathedral; Above: Detail of the Pelican Lectern in the Nave (photos: Michael Sadgrove).

About the Friends

The Friends of Durham Cathedral exist to support the Cathedral Chapter in maintaining and enhancing the Cathedral and its beautiful surroundings. We make annual grants to support the work of the Cathedral’s historic library, the maintenance of the riverbanks, the Education service and the team of volunteer broderers. Most of our funds (which derive from members’ subscriptions, donations and legacies) are committed to major projects undertaken by the Chapter for the upkeep of the building and to meet the needs of the Cathedral’s mission in the modern world.

To get to know each other (as ‘friends’ as well as ‘Friends’) we enjoy a full programme of shared activities, including lectures, excursions and social events; an annual highlight is the Friends’ Christmas concert in the Cathedral given by talented young performers. In June every year we gather for the Friends’ Festival: this includes the AGM, as well as an opportunity to visit parts of the Cathedral and its precincts not otherwise open to the public. The day culminates in Festal Evensong and procession to St Cuthbert’s shrine, followed by the Cathedral choir’s singing from the Tower (a tradition which dates back at least to the seventeenth century).

Friends receive an annual membership card which entitles them to free access to the Tower, and new members are invited to participate in a ‘welcome’ tour of the Cathedral. All members receive two Newsletters a year to keep them informed about events, and full subscribers also receive a free copy of the Annual Report.