With building work on the verge of completion – on Bath Abbey’s ground-breaking £20million Footprint project – the church is planning a special Footprint Celebration Service.
Supported by the National Heritage Lottery Fund, the Abbey’s historic floor has been fully restored and saved from collapse, eco-heating powered by energy from Bath’s hot springs has been installed, and new underground spaces and facilities have been created. In addition, new programmes to enhance community engagement through volunteering, learning and family activities are being implemented, with a new Discovery Centre expected to open to the public later next year.
Hundreds of the Abbey’s supporters, congregation, staff and volunteers will attend a special Footprint Celebration Service followed a Thanksgiving reception and a tour on Sunday 17th October. This is an opportunity to give thanks for the amazing transformation that the Footprint Project represents, and to consecrate it publicly for God’s Glory.
The Footprint Celebration Service will include music from the Abbey choirs, interviews with some of the people involved in the Footprint Project and a sermon from the guest preacher, the Dean of Westminster Abbey, The Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle.
Along with the Bath Abbey congregation, guests attending the service include the Lord Lieutenant of Somerset, The Mayor Of Bath, The Rt Hon. Wera Hobhouse MP, The High Sheriff of Somerset, and the Dean of Wells Cathedral, The Very Revd Dr John Davies; together with many honoured guests who have worked on and helped fund the project.
The Revd Canon Guy Bridgewater, Rector of Bath Abbey, said: “We are overjoyed to celebrate the completion of the building work of the major Abbey Footprint project. The vision of a fully restored Abbey floor, and greatly enhanced facilities for welcome, worship and ministry with the city and its visitors, has been gloriously fulfilled – and there are so many Thank-yous now to be said. We are really proud of all that has been accomplished, even with all the extra challenges of the pandemic, and the Celebration Service is a chance to express our gratitude to God – and to everyone who has helped renew Bath Abbey by their generosity, patient faith and hard work.”
Editor’s Note. It’s wonderful the project is drawing to a close and there are obviously a lot of people to thank – both donors and those working on the actual project.
I am a little disappointed the Abbey couldn’t plan a really grand concert for the people of Bath – not just the dignitaries – but maybe that’s something they have in mind for later?