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What is it all for?

Cathedrals are extraordinarily energetic places that support a huge variety of activity. The question we always come back to is simply: what is it all for?

Our Purpose, Vision and Values tell us our purpose is to worship God, share the gospel of Jesus Christ, welcome all who come, celebrate and pass on our rich Christian heritage and discover our place in God.

We produce regular reports to show how we are progressing with our our purposes, vision and values.

Annual Report

Our annual report is a summary of the Cathedral’s annual accounts. The report of a faith community like a Cathedral is a celebration of God’s goodness during another twelve months and gives you a glimpse of how we are rising to our challenges.

Working with partners

We are committed to working with organisations to service the needs of the local community and to promote Durham to audiences around the world. Our partners include:

Our Strategic Plan 2018-2020

Our Strategic Plan sets out our objectives in light of our purpose, vision and values:


  • We want to draw more people into enriching and imaginative encounters with the Cathedral and the Christian faith by:
  • Continuing to develop the Cathedral’s offer to visitors and promote it widely.
  • Continuing to develop both traditional and innovative forms of worship to engage with a broader worshipping constituency.
  • extending our parish, ecumenical and community engagement through welcome, worship, education and outreach; supporting the Bishop’s mission.
  • developing a diocesan, national and international pilgrimage programme leading to Pilgrimage 2020.


  • We will care for, develop, and improve access to our buildings, collections and environment by:
  • continuing to improve the management, stewardship, accessibility and promotion of the Cathedral’s collections.
  • developing capacity, either in-house or through partnerships, to manage and conserve our buildings, collections and environment.
  • Implementing 15-year repair and maintenance plans for the Cathedral and Precinct (including Riverbanks) and develop appropriate opportunities to improve public access.


  • Through our work, and in partnership with others, we will promote excellence in the North East and be a force for good in our region. We will:
  • continue to enhance the Cathedral’s economic contribution regionally and nationally through taking initiatives to increase visitor numbers and dwell-time in North East England.
  • actively promote and facilitate dialogue and public debate across the region, enhancing the role of the Cathedral as the seat of the Bishop’s teaching ministry.
  • aim to achieve nationally recognised standards of excellence across the Cathedral and celebrate these achievements.
  • build on the excellent standards of The Chorister School by growing pupil numbers, careful resource management and the development of the Chorister Endowment Fund.


To put the development of people at the heart of everything we do so as to transform our communities. We will:

  • better harness the skills and talents of our staff and volunteers, in support of the Cathedral’s vision and mission, through organisational development and workforce planning.
  • support lifelong learning and encourage inter-generational engagement within our community.
  • improve our internal communications and the flow of information across the Cathedral.


To achieve greater financial sustainability, we will:

  • produce and implement three-year business plans for Durham Cathedral, Durham Cathedral Open Treasure and Durham Cathedral Trading Ltd.
  • continue to grow voluntary, ticketed and commercial income, including fundraising for Foundation 2020.
  • monitor financial performance and control costs by establishing a rigorous and timely financial reporting regime.
  • improve cash management so as to achieve a steady state cash flow and remove the need for loan finance.

An award-winning team

We are proud to have been awarded the Gold Award from North East Better Health at Work.

Find out more about North East Better Health at Work