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Make your mark at Durham Cathedral - leave a gift in your will

Wills and legacies

Your Will allows you to protect your family and friends and support a charity at a level which may not have been possible during your lifetime. For non-profit organisations such as Durham Cathedral, these gifts can be transformational.

Become part of something truly lasting

Leaving Durham Cathedral a legacy is to join generations of people who care about Durham Cathedral and the communities it serves. Your gift can provide you and those closest to you with the satisfaction and joy that comes from charitable giving.

Contributors of more than £10,000 are acknowledged in perpetuity in our Liber Vitae (Book of Life) if you so wish it, and celebrated in a special annual service.


Help preserve history

Legacies, large or small, are vital to the future, enabling us to act where the need is greatest.

Without them, many aspects of the Cathedral’s daily life, from major restoration works to development projects which enhance people’s enjoyment of the Cathedral, would not be possible.

Sound financial planning

Leaving a charitable gift in your Will is an astute means of tax planning for you and your family.

Inheritance Tax (IHT) is currently at 40%. If your estate is over a certain threshold, £0.40 of every £1 could potentially be ‘lost’ in tax. However a legacy to a charity is automatically free of IHT. This could take the form of money, shares, a work of art, land or simply what remains when all gifts have been made.

If you leave 10% or more of your net estate, then IHT overall is reduced to 36%. This means family will pay a substantially smaller tax liability.

How to leave a legacy

Want to know more about leaving gifts in your Will? Take a look at How to leave a legacy.

Any questions?

For more information about legacies, including suggested wording, please contact the Development team by email at, call 0191 374 4055, or write to:


The Cathedral Office
The College
Durham DH1 3EH

With thanks to Gedye and Sons (Solicitors) Limited for its assistance in collating this information.

Flower Arrangements in Quire

Flower Garden Legacy | Valeria Maitland

Valeria was an enthusiastic member of the Cathedral community as a volunteer and flower arranger.

Valeria chose to leave a gift to the Cathedral in her Will so others can experience the tranquillity and calm the Cathedral offers to visitors and pilgrims alike.

Her legacy helps us to continue to produce and cultivate flowers to adorn the Cathedral she loved so much.


Choristers in the Cloisters

Choral Music Legacy | Michael and Elizabeth Boyd

Michael and Elizabeth were loyal supporters of music at Durham Cathedral through Durham Cathedral Choir Association.

They donated the beautiful grand piano inside the church we use for recitals, concerts and services.

In life and death they have helped to support our choral tradition and keep music at the heart of daily worship at the Cathedral.

View down the Nave to distant Quire and Rose Window

Conservation Legacy | Gillian Percy

Throughout her life Gillian enjoyed visiting the Cathedral. Her gift was given specifically to support the ongoing conservation and care of her favourite building.

Gillian’s family joined us for an afternoon to find out more about the Cathedral’s major works programme and the craftsmanship of its stonemasons and joiners.

School child using interactive touchscreen in Open Treasure

Specific Projects Legacy | Monica Hayton

Monica worshipped at the Cathedral and supported it during her lifetime.

She left a generous bequest to support the development of Open Treasure.

Through remembering the Cathedral in her Will, Monica’s legacy is now enabling us to share the Cathedral’s heritage, collections and cultural life with visitors of all ages.


Crest at Bishop Hatfield's tomb lit by stained glass window

In Memoriam Legacy | Yvonne Harvey

Yvonne loved spending time in and around the Cathedral, whether it was taking part in a service, or simply enjoying a moment of calm now and again.

When Yvonne died, her husband Paul made a donation to celebrate and honour the many memories they shared here together. His gift is helping to continue the life and mission of the place which meant so much to Yvonne.