Gorton Monastery in 21st birthday appeal
This week marks 21 years since a charitable trust was established to save and protect Gorton Monastery.
Last night The Monastery Trust hosted a glitzy 21st Birthday Ball at the former church and friary, which is now used as a stunning venue for corporate, cultural and community events with all profits ploughed back into the upkeep of the historic building.
The ball marked the official launch of its 21st Birthday Appeal, which aims to raise a final £500,000 funds to ensure the building is protected and open to the community for the next 21 years and beyond.
The Monastery Trust initially raised £6.5m through grants, funds and donations to save and restore the derelict Grade II* listed building. Over the years a total of £12m has been raised to restore and develop the Pugin-designed building.
The Trust says this further funding will enable a free permanent health and well-being centre to be created as well as healing and therapy rooms for one-to-one and group sessions.
There are also plans for a music and creative arts studio in the basement to help develop artistic talent. Traditional craft, skills and sculpture workshops will also take place every week, and for families, a family room and play corner will be available for people of all ages to spend quality time together having fun in a safe environment.
Outside in the old courtyard that borders the cloisters, an authentic Franciscan healing garden is being created with flower beds replanted with traditional culinary and medicinal plants and herbs.
The centre piece to the friary garden will be a water feature and a permanent carved stone labyrinth will be built to be used by anyone for mindfulness, relaxation and enjoyment.
Elaine Griffiths, chief executive of The Monastery Trust said: “We are so grateful for the generosity of so many in supporting the Monastery in so many ways over the last 20 years.
“We have achieved so much and will always be indebted to each and every person who has fallen in love with the building like we did. As the project comes of age, please help us to finish the Monastery and deliver on our promises so that the vision can be finally realised.
“We want to protect this precious sacred site and allow it to serve the local community for generations to come.”
The Monastery Trust says there are a number of ways to support the 21st Birthday Appeal including dedicating a specially carved stone in the Path of Life for £100, Adopt an Angel for £50, Sponsor a Saint for £40 or Buy a Brick for £20, as well as other donations and will legacies.
To donate to the 21st Birthday Appeal, visit www.themonastery.co.uk or phone 0161 223 3211.