Project information

Cathedral Community Space

We are refurbishing a large hall in the Cathedral complex which serves the parish, local people and businesses in Victoria. We want a flexible, welcoming, user-friendly space that is suitable for a range of groups with very diverse needs including the elderly, the homeless, and the hard of hearing.

July 2018 - September 2018

Charity information: Society Of Friends Of Westminster Cathedral

Society Of Friends Of Westminster Cathedral logo
  • Need


    The hall hasn't been updated in over 20 years and the building and facilities are dilapidated and out-dated. There needs to be sub-division of the larger space so that it is suitable for a much greater range of groups with very different needs. The hall serves as a homeless shelter in the winter months and is a focal point for school children visiting the Cathedral. It is an important hub for the local community with coffee mornings for the elderly and the venue for local clubs and societies.


    We are looking to provide new and improved disabled access, affording the disabled much more autonomy; new audio-visual equipment will enhance the space and make special provision for the sight and hearing impaired. Updated kitchen facilities will enable the Hall to expand its use as a homeless shelter providing hot meals. The improvements will also help to raise revenue allowing the Cathedral to make the space available at a nominal rate for selected groups.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    A bright, multi-function and multi-purpose space that is welcoming to all.


    » We have drawn up plans with an architect for improved use of the space, with break-out rooms, better lavatory provision and kitchen facilities

    What success will look like

    Seeing the Hall with far greater occupancy rates. At present it is an under-used facility. It is ideally located in the heart of Victoria and can serve a much wider hinterland.

    Aim 2

    A community space that meets the needs of all users, especially the disabled and the elderly


    » We are consulting with stakeholders so that everyone who uses the Hall has a stake in its development.

    What success will look like

    The hall should be used by disabled groups. At present limited access restricts use and users of the space. We want to advertise the hall as a community facility open to all.

  • Impact


    The project will restore and renovate an important architectural building. Success will be a building fit for purpose with much greater engagement with schools and community groups because of the enhanced facilities and improved access. We want to achieve much greater outreach to the local community - to advertise that this facility is available in the local area. The improvements will enable the Cathedral to extend the hall use as a homeless shelter in the winter months.


    The Hall is a Grade II* listed building and necessary consents will be needed before work can commence. The renovation must be done in stages, as time and money allow, and also because the building abuts the Choir School so work can only take place in the holidays. However Big Give funding would enable us to reach our financial targets more efficiently. We have engaged an architect familiar with this type of 'staggered' project and he is confident of getting the scheme completed on schedule.


    Via a detailed update in the Friends' bi-annual newsletter; monthly updates in the Cathedral newsletter and on the Cathedral website with photographs and commentary showing the progress. All donors will be thanked for their contributions and invited to fundraising events throughout the year.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £266,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £33,000 Entrance area Improved access and lighting with disabled lift access to Hall level
      £47,000 Ground Floor Lavatories Reconfiguration of lavatories and new and improved disabled and baby friendly facilities
      £40,000 First Floor Lavatories Reconfiguration of lavatories moving Gents to First Floor to improve layout and access
      £53,000 Kitchen Complete refurbishment, including services
      £40,000 Foyer New welcome area
      £53,000 Audio-Visuals Screen, speakers, projector system with improved lighting and automatic blind control for windows

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    BIG GIVE CHRISTMAS APPEAL 2016 £30,000 Guaranteed
    40th Anniversary Events £30,000 Conditional
    Ongoing appeal to members £136,000 Conditional
  • Background


    The Cathedral Hall is adjacent to Westminster Cathedral and is accessible from Ambrosden Avenue London, SW1P. The Hall is in an established residential location with a number of schools nearby. Victoria is now a thriving and important commercial hub and is easily accessible by public transport. The building is a visible landmark in the local area contributing to the Conservation Area status.


    The Cathedral Hall provides a much-needed community meeting space. Everyone who uses the Hall will benefit from the improvements - notably the disabled, the homeless and the various interest groups who use the space on a regular basis.
    These include community choirs, parish charity groups, the Diocesan Deaf Service, the Blood Service, the local SVP, schools and the wider Cathedral community.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The Friends Society was founded 40 years ago to support the Cathedral and we have successfully raised funds for a number of major projects seen through to completion ie a £500,000 project to complete the mosaics of St George's Chapel. The Cathedral does not charge an entrance fee, is open to all and has to prioritise funds for maintaining the Cathedral. The Friends remit is to fund essential works that improve and enhance the Cathedral and its environs. We especially support long-term projects.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Andrew Hollingsworth

    Treasurer of the Friends who has recently overseen the successful and comprehensive refurbishment of an historic building in the local area

    Linda McHugh

    Chair of the Cathedral Finance committee, chair of the Hall Appeal with a wealth of experience and business acumen. A local and v active resident.

    Canon Christopher Tuckwell

    Administrator of the Cathedral and Chair of the Friends. Canon Christopher has given the project the wholesale backing of the Cathedral community