BRADFORD Cathedral has launched an appeal to raise £150,000 to renew public seating in the building.

The Take A Seat appeal is part of plans to enhance the building so that it is properly equipped to serve the Bradford community for the next 100 years following a year of celebrations to mark its centenary,

Staff at the cathedral say the existing seating is dated and so heavy it takes several hours to move it when the cathedral is holding events.

There is also nowhere to store it and new chairs - the design of which is yet to be decided - will be more attractive, comfortable and practical.

The Dean of the cathedral, The Very Rev Jerry Lepine, is asking for support from local people and businesses to help raise the funds needed.

He said: "The cathedral stands on a site that has been a place of Christian worship and prayer for over 1,000 years. Today we welcome people of all faiths and none, and the cathedral is used in so many different ways; for civic occasions, community and charity events, concerts and conferences.

“As well as being over 30 years old, our chairs are incredibly heavy and impractical. They can only be moved two at a time, and with over 500 services and events at the cathedral each year, there are often days when our vergers are spending up to six hours moving chairs."

The hope is that new chairs will also allow for an even more diverse range of activities to take place that more people can enjoy.

Head verger David Worsley said: "The whole verger team spend an awful lot of time moving chairs around, which is neither easy nor enjoyable!

"There are quite a few challenges. An incredibly wide range of services and events now take place at the cathedral – which is wonderful, because it means we’re engaging with lots of people from all parts of our community. But it also means that we have to move chairs around on a regular basis to meet the requirements for different activities.

"The chairs are incredibly heavy and can only be moved two at a time. It’s not unusual for us to have to move several hundred chairs at a time, which can take hours. There’s also a big storage issue because we can only stack the chairs in pairs. This is not only inefficient, it’s also potentially dangerous.

"We have nowhere to put the chairs, so wherever we put them they’re always in plain sight. We want to be able to cater for the needs of each event or service, and, as such, we’d like to be able to offer a much more versatile space.

"For a big event there can easily be five or six hours of chair moving. And in some weeks there might be two or three occasions when a really significant number of chairs need to moved and put back.

"There are lots of very cleverly designed chairs now. Being able to stack 30 chairs at a time and move them on a trolley will save so much time and effort, and allow us to concentrate on lots of other important jobs and projects."

"As well as being more practical, new chairs will really enhance the appearance of the Cathedral too. Our chairs are over 30 years old and whilst they’re in reasonable condition, there are signs of wear and tear. There are lots of very beautiful designs out there for us to choose from."

It costs £1,800 each day to run the cathedral, which relies on the generosity of its congregation and other supporters to care for the building and continue to serve the Bradford community. Donations to the Take a Seat appeal can be made via the cathedral’s website at or in the cathedral itself. All donations will be publicly acknowledged and donors will be invited to a celebration event when the new chairs are installed. For more information contact t he cathedral on 01274 777720 or on