Appeal: Take A Seat

In 2019 we celebrated our centenary. As we prepare for a new century, we’re launching an appeal to raise £150,000 to renew seating in the Cathedral. Over 500 different services and events take place here each year. This means our team sometimes spends up to 6 hours a day moving heavy old chairs around. We want to replace them with beautifully designed, flexible chairs so that more people in our communities can use our wonderful building - now, and in the future.

Please donate to our Take a Seat appeal below, and help us raise £150,000.

Chairs.

Please select APPEAL – Take a Seat from the donations menu below ... and don’t forget, if you’re a UK tax payer please Gift Aid your donation. If you do, every £1 you donate is worth £1.25 to us. THANK YOU!

Every donation is important and appreciated. Please give what you can. A donation of £250 will pay for one chair and contribute towards the cost of accessories such as stacking trolleys. 

 

 

 

 

Promotional Video

 

 

David Worsley talks chairs

As Head Verger, David Worsley rarely gets a chance for a sit down – partly because he spends so much time moving chairs around so that others can! We caught up with him to find out a bit more about why he thinks our Take a Seat appeal is so important.

David Worsley lifting chairs.

So David, how long have you been Head Verger?
I’ve been Head Verger since August 2018, which seems an awfully long time ago. So, with excitement, I’m heading into my second Advent season.

What’s your favourite part of the job?
I feel that my job is, primarily, about looking after people and things, so this is what I enjoy most – the daily interaction with people who use the Cathedral and endeavouring to meet their needs.

What’s your least favourite part of the job?
The whole Verger team spend an awful lot of time moving chairs around, which is neither easy nor enjoyable!

So why are the cathedral’s chairs such a problem?
There are quite a few challenges. An incredibly wide range of services and events now take place at the cathedral – which is wonderful, because it means we’re engaging with lots of people from all parts of our community. But it also means that we have to move chairs around on a regular basis to meet the requirements for different activities.  

The chairs are incredibly heavy and can only be moved two at a time. It’s not unusual for us to have to move several hundred chairs at a time, which can take hours. There’s also a big storage issue because we can only stack the chairs in pairs. This is not only inefficient, it’s also potentially dangerous. We have nowhere to put the chairs, so wherever we put them they’re always in plain sight. We want to be able to cater for the needs of each event or service, and, as such, we’d like to be able to offer a much more versatile space.

How many hours each week would you say you spend moving chairs around?
It’s hard to say, but for a big event there can easily be five or six hours of chair moving. And in some weeks there might be two or three occasions when a really significant number of chairs need to moved and put back.
 
So you must be pleased with the launch of the Take a Seat appeal?
Yes, definitely. There are lots of very cleverly designed chairs now. Being able to stack 30 chairs at a time and move them on a trolley will save so much time and effort, and allow us to concentrate on lots of other important jobs and projects. As well as being more practical, new chairs will really enhance the appearance of the Cathedral too. Our chairs are over 30 years old and whilst they’re in reasonable condition, there are signs of wear and tear. There are lots of very beautiful designs out there for us to choose from. 

So has a decision been made on the new chairs?
No, because we want our congregation and other stakeholders to get involved and help to make that decision – after all they’re the ones that will have to sit on them!

When will the new chairs be in place?
It’s difficult to say because we need to raise a large amount of money. But people are already being very generous and donating. Chairs might not seem the most exciting thing in the world, but actually new chairs will make a huge difference. They’ll give us the flexibility to use the Cathedral in new ways to better serve our community and also generate new income.

How do you relax when you do get a chance to sit down?
I love spending time with my children, who are gorgeous. I also love reading and walking in the countryside. Recently, I spent two nights with the Community of the Resurrection, in Mirfield, which I found very relaxing!