Put on your walking boots for the Abbey’s Footprint Project.

Bath Abbey is issuing a call for people to put their best feet forward to raise funds for the Footprint project – a development programme to repair the Abbey’s collapsing floor, install an eco-friendly heating system using Bath’s hot springs, and create additional space and improved facilities for the half a million people who use the Abbey every year. A group of four from Bath Abbey including the Rector, Edward Mason and Footprint Project Director, Charles Curnock will be taking on a 140-mile sponsored walk from Bath to London (5-11 July), ending at Lambeth Palace, the official residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The walkers will hand-deliver a letter for the Archbishop, Justin Welby, to invite him to Bath to learn more about the Abbey’s Footprint project.

Bath Abbey - proposed Jackson extension

Bath Abbey – proposed Jackson extension

The Abbey is urging as many people as possible to give the Footprint Walk team a send-off to remember by gathering outside the Abbey and walking with them for the first 11 miles of their journey from Bath to Bradford-on-Avon. The walkers will be leaving from the Abbey’s West Door on Sunday 5 July at around 11.00am and expect to arrive at the Archbishop of Canterbury’s residence on Saturday 11 July. Laura Brown, Footprint Appeal Director from Bath Abbey, who is one of the four taking on the full 140-mile Footprint Walk said: “For us, this is very much a community event, so anyone interested in joining the walk on Sunday 5 July is most welcome. We need as much encouragement as we can get so we’d really love for as many people as possible to walk with us! So, whether you’re a seasoned walker or simply out for a Sunday stroll do come and join us for the first leg to Bradford on Avon. We’ll be walking mostly along the canal so it’ll be a lovely scenic walk, and you can take it at your own pace.” Charles Curnock, Bath Abbey’s Footprint Project Director, said, “We’re really looking forward to the walk and have been in-training for a while now, some of us more seriously than others! What’s great is that while it’s a sponsored walk to raise money for the Footprint Project, there’s a greater purpose to it – we’ll be going as a group to Lambeth Palace to invite Archbishop Justin Welby to Bath to learn more about the Abbey’s exciting plans for the future.”

Bath Abbey - looking West

Bath Abbey – looking West

In May last year, the Abbey’s Footprint project received initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for a full award of £10 million. The Abbey has already raised nearly half of the £7.1 million of match funding to unlock the full award with just over £4 million left to raise from a combination of charitable trusts, foundations, private donors and public fundraising events. The Footprint Walk team will set off on their six-day walk to Lambeth Palace, London, at around 11.00am on Sunday 5 July from outside the Abbey. Drop by to send them off or join them for the first 11 miles to Bradford on Avon. To sign up for the walk or to sponsor the Footprint Walk team, visit: www.bathabbey.org/footprintwalk2015 or contact Katie McGill on 01225 303314 / kmcgill@bathabbey.org.