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First Birthday for Durham Cathedral LEGO Build

11 July 2014

Representatives from the business and charity sector gathered at Durham Cathedral today to help mark the first anniversary of the LEGO Cathedral.

Since it started a year ago, 80,000 bricks have been placed on the model by members of the public and corporate sponsors and the project continues to attract the attention of the local community and international visitors alike.

The North East Autism Society (NEAS) brought service users for a LEGO therapy session at the Cathedral. They worked with bricks donated by an anonymous donor to build the high altar, which was put in place during the birthday celebrations.

Kat Marjoribanks, from NEAS said: "LEGO is such a fantastic resource for all sorts of different people and working with it has given the NEAS service users the opportunity to gain valuable life skills such as concentration and team work.

“It is a great opportunity for us all to work in partnership with local projects also using LEGO.”

Representatives from the North East Chamber of Commerce, were also there to celebrate ahead of adopting Durham Cathedral as one of their charities of the year for 2015.

Chief Executive of the NECC James Ramsbotham, said: "We are commemorating NECC's 200th year in 2015 and are celebrating all that is great about North East businesses. As part of those celebrations Durham Cathedral features as one of our charities of the year and we are encouraging other large scale local businesses to take ownership of block sections of the LEGO Cathedral and become corporate donors to this fantastic project.

"I have watched the LEGO Cathedral grow from small beginnings and would encourage everyone to come and see it and buy a brick themselves to be part of this unique fundraising idea."

These two diverse groups show how the LEGO build has captured the imagination of a wide range of participants and continues to bring the community together.

Following a strict set of plans, the Cathedral has a dedicated team of LEGO volunteers who help members of the public place their bricks on the model. The church community from within the Cathedral is also involved and a team of broderers has made a specially designed altar cloth and cope for the one year celebrations, which have now been placed in the model.

The Durham Cathedral LEGO build is part of the Cathedral’s public appeal, which aims to raise £1 million towards Open Treasure, a major development project, which will transform the way visitors can enjoy the Cathedral and gain inspiration from it.

The completed model will include almost 350,000 bricks, spanning 3.84 metres in length, 1.53 metres wide and 1.7 metres in height. For every £1 donated, one Lego brick is added to the model Cathedral.

To learn more about the LEGO Cathedral, make a donation or watch videos about the project, please visit: www.durhamcathedral.co.uk