Let There Be Light - Chester Cathedral

Let There Be Light

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The LED Project at Chester Cathedral

If you've strolled through the Quire aisles of Chester Cathedral recently, you might have noticed a subtle yet significant change. Thanks to the implementation of modern technology, these splendid spaces are now bathed in a new light, quite literally.

For years, the Quire aisles relied on halogen bulbs, but their energy inefficiency and inadequate fixtures posed a financial challenge. In response to the need for a more sustainable approach, the Cathedral launched a fundraising campaign. Its aim was to gather the necessary funds to illuminate these sacred spaces in a manner that respects both environmental stewardship and aesthetic harmony.

Fortunately, the project secured funding from various sources, such as the UKSPF Community funding for decarbonisation, the Benefact Trust, and the Cheshire Community Energy Fund. Additionally, the generous contributions of private donors were instrumental, reflecting their commitment to supporting the Cathedral's sustainability efforts.

With the necessary resources secured, the Cathedral enlisted the expertise of Aspull Electrical Services Ltd to bring the vision to life. Lighting fixtures were ordered from the lighting specialists iGuzzini and these were tailored specifically to the Cathedral's needs. Each fixture was chosen to complement the architectural grandeur of the Quire aisles, seamlessly blending tradition with modernity.

However, as with any development, the LED project encountered its share of challenges. A delay in shipping from Germany, beyond anyone's control, caused a temporary setback, testing the patience of all involved. Moreover, certain funding sources imposed tight deadlines, intensifying the pressure as the completion date drew nearer each day. Nonetheless, through perseverance, the long-awaited fixtures ultimately arrived. Another obstacle arose concerning the preservation of the historic stonework, necessitating meticulous work from the Cathedrals’ Works Department and Aspull to mitigate, where possible, damage to the historic building. Despite these hurdles, the project was completed on schedule.

Now, as the LED lights cast their glow upon the Quire aisles, a sense of transformation permeates the cathedral. Visitors and congregants alike are greeted with clarity, allowing them to appreciate the intricate details of the architecture in all its splendour once more.

Indeed, the impact of the LED project extends far beyond mere illumination. It symbolises a commitment to sustainability and a dedication to enhancing the experience of all those who visit. As the Cathedral continues to evolve with the times, it remains steadfast in its mission to inspire, uplift, and illuminate the souls of all who enter its doors.

So, the next time you find yourself in the Quire aisles, take a moment to bask in the brilliance of this small but important transformation.

Abbie-Eve Valentine

Fundraising Officer

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