Bath Abbey hosts city’s Great Bake Sale.

BATH ABBEY. Poppy Balfarnie, 19, who is a first year Norland Nanny trainee, holds a gingerbread model of Bath Abbey at last year's cake sale at Bath Abbey.
BATH ABBEY. Poppy Balfarnie, 19, who is a first year Norland Nanny trainee, holds a gingerbread model of Bath Abbey at last year’s cake sale at Bath Abbey.

Back due to popular demand, Bath Abbey is holding another Great Bath Bake Sale for the Great Bath Feast.

On the 3 October from 11am – 3pm we will be opening our doors to the city’s bakers to raise money for the Footprint Project and two local food charities Bath FareShare and Bath Foodcycle. We have been inundated with support from community groups, businesses and school children from all around the city.

Last year’s event was so successful, we had thousands of baking enthusiasts through our doors in the space of a few hours. We are hoping for the same again in a couple of weeks’ time.

Among those contributing cakes, baked goods and pastries are businesses such as Bonhams Auctioneers and the Piano Shop Bath as well as catering companies such as Made by Ben.

There is a bit of friendly rivalry developing between our universities with the University of Bath’s Baking Appreciation Society and Bath Spa University’s bakers keen to show off their skills. The Abbey’s own congregation and community groups including Bath Abbey’s branch of Mothers’ Union have also been getting their practice bakes on to make sure they’re ready for the big day.

Last year's gingerbread Bath Abbey at the 2014 cake sale. Photo: Deborah Coleman
Last year’s gingerbread Bath Abbey at the 2014 cake sale. Photo: Deborah Coleman

Our ‘Best of Bath’ table will showcase a selection of scrumptious delights from the city’s independent cafes and bakeries. And we are hosting free bread making workshops for children run by our resident dough enthusiast Ollie Taylor.

Katie McGill, Bath Abbey’s Fundraising Administrator, said: “We absolutely cannot wait; it’s going to be a brilliantly fun day, getting together and filling our tummies with treats and all for a great cause! We’ve yet again been overwhelmed by the number of people wanting to get involved by baking or hosting a table. It looks like our aisles are going to be jam-packed (excuse the pun!). With just a couple of weeks to go, we really need people to show their support by coming along to buy and eat these delectable delights!”

Laura Brown, Footprint Appeal Director, said: “Since last year’s Great Bath Bake Sale, we have made a fantastic amount of progress on our Footprint Project and are now in the final months of fundraising before our next application to the Heritage Lottery Fund. If all goes well, we could start work as soon as next summer. We have come such a long way, but we need to keep pushing to get us over the next few hurdles. For hundreds of years, people have been worshipping, visiting and using the Abbey; last year alone we had over 420,000 visitors through our doors.

Buns at Bath Abbey at last year's Great Bake Sale. Photo: Deborah Coleman.
Buns at Bath Abbey at last year’s Great Bake Sale. Photo: Deborah Coleman.

All this puts a massive strain on the building – we are bursting at the seams! The floor is slowly collapsing, space is severely restricted, and the building is struggling to cope with the huge numbers of people who use the Abbey every day. Our vision for Footprint is to maintain and make the most of what we have in order to continue inspiring all for hundreds of years to come. And what better way to bring people together in aid of this good cause, than over a slice of cake?”

The event is open to members of the public of all ages and will include the chance to sit and enjoy a slice of cake in one of the most architecturally inspiring and atmospheric churches in the country.

All proceeds from the Bake Sale go towards Bath Abbey’s Footprint project, plus charities Bath FareShare and Bath FoodCycle. Last year the Great Bath Bake Sale raised over £2,500.

For information.

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Bath Abbey needs to raise a significant amount of matched funding in order to unlock £10 million allocated by the Heritage Lottery Funding towards the Footprint Project – a £19.3 million building programme.

The project will introduce an innovative eco-friendly underfloor heating system using Bath’s famous hot springs as a source of energy, as well as create 200 sq metres of additional space and improve facilities to ensure the Abbey is more hospitable and usable for the half a million people who pass through our doors every year.