The incredible generosity of a parishioner of St Chad’s Cathedral is set to kickstart the redevelopment of the site’s crypt.
Mr Michael Hake, who died earlier this year, left a legacy of almost £1m to St Chad’s Cathedral with a specific wish that money be used to support the restoration of the cathedral fabric as well as the development of an Education and Heritage Centre.
Mr Hake, of Solihull, was inspired to leave this generous monetary gift after responding to a diocesan legacy leaflet.
He held several conversations with Steve Baylis, diocesan Head of Development, to understand the detail of leaving a legacy and ensuring his wishes would be followed. A legacy was then legally drawn up.
The legacy generously left will be focused on the redevelopment of the crypt, which Mr Hake had read about on St Chad’s website Project page online
Included in that will be accessibility improvements to the wider cathedral site, something which Mr Hake noted when he visited with his elderly father who could not access the crypt in his wheelchair.
There will also be an overhaul of the cathedral sound system and a brand new public display of two key vestments.
The first, now a relic of Saint John Paul II, is a red vestment he wore on Pentecost Sunday during his Pastoral visit to Coventry as part of his week-long tour of the UK in 1982.
The second is a white vestment worn by Pope Benedict XVI when he celebrated Mass for the Beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman, at Cofton Park, Birmingham, in September 2010.
Monsignor Timothy Menezes, Dean of St Chad’s Cathedral, described the legacy left as ‘overwhelming’.
“We are absolutely thrilled to be remembered by Mr Hake in this way. He was part of the cathedral family and had a great devotion to Saint John Henry Newman.
“His generosity will make an enormous difference to improving the cathedral site, and the experience of all those who visit. It is a testimony to his humility and his faith being handed on to generations after his life.
“Leaving a legacy is a very personal decision and we are honoured that Mr Hake has chosen the cathedral as his beneficiary. His wishes will be honoured carefully.”
• This week is ‘Remember a Charity Week’ which aims to raise the profile of charitable gifts in Wills.
The Archdiocese of Birmingham, which includes your parish, is a charitable organisation and one you could consider leaving a gift to.
The Archdiocese has recently relaunched its legacy programme and associated materials, and these are now available from your parish and online here