Gorton Monastery will be opening its doors to visitors free of charge every Monday during February and March.
Pugin’s magnificent heritage buildings will be open free of charge to visitors every Monday between 12-4pm so that the public can come and see the future plans for the Monastery’s new Welcome Wing and discuss the details of the next phase conservation and restoration work.
In December 2014 the Trust was awarded almost £2million in grant funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund so that this important £3 million phase of the project could be completed.
The plans include the construction of a permanent and sustainable Welcome Wing so that the Monastery can be ‘Open Every Day for Everyone’ The new wing has been designed to welcome the general public and the local community so that the Monastery can share its story with everyone.
Permanent education and community facilities will be created in the extension of the former friary so that the Monastery can be a resource that schools, the community and the general public can experience and enjoy all of the time.
All this has been made possible through generous donations and a major match funding grant of £1million from the Stoller Charitable Trust. The funding will also allow the Trust to complete urgent conservation work and outstanding repairs in the former church and will include work on the Reredos and Lady Altar, plus paint schemes, stencils, marouflage decoration and floor tiles.
Monastery Mondays will also feature a series of talks and presentations at 2pm in the Great Nave telling ‘The Monastery Story’, with the opportunity to ask questions and learn about some of the secrets of Pugin’s design. The Friars Pantry cafe will also be open for refreshments, light lunches and afternoon teas.
Elaine Griffiths, Chief Executive of The Monastery of St Francis & Gorton Trust said, “We have been overwhelmed by public support from everyone who loves the Monastery and that has helped us to save the buildings and get this far. So many people have asked if they can visit during the week and now they can do so. On Monastery Mondays we will be opening the doors between 12 and 4pm and inviting everyone along to see the plans, hear the story and experience Pugin’s architectural masterpiece . Please come and see our plans for the future, and see how we are going to put this beautiful building back at the heart of the community once more.”