Make your mark on history and Sign-A-Slate at Truro Cathedral

Truro, Cornwall, July 27, 2015

It’s not often you can literally sign, scribe or scribble your mark on history, but Truro Cathedral is giving you the opportunity to do just that, all in support of the Roof Appeal launched earlier this year. Sign-A-Slate offers those making a donation to the appeal the chance to sign or write a message on the back of one of the 60,000 new slates being used to re-slate the cathedral roof – a roof that will be in place, complete with those messages, for generations to come.

The Dean of Truro, the Very Reverend Roger Bush, said: “The cathedral is a beautiful and special place that means many different things to many different people. It is people that form the heart of the cathedral and so it was very important to us to find a way for everyone to get involved and feel part of this important restoration project.

Sign-A-Slate feels like a very fitting way to do that, providing people with a unique opportunity to leave a personal and lasting message within this special building.”
There are three levels at which you can participate.

For a donation of £5 you have the opportunity to sign or write on one-sixth of a shared slate. For a £25 donation an entire slate becomes your canvas, upon which you can write and draw. Lastly, for a £250 donation, you can enjoy an extra special VIP signing experience as you and up to three friends and family write on your slate at an invitation-only drinks reception hosted by the Dean.

Whatever your level of participation, you will receive a special certificate of thanks to celebrate your contribution to this once-in-a-lifetime appeal, and your name will be added to a special Roof Appeal Supporters Book which will be on display in the cathedral once the project is complete. Roger continued: “In the past couple of weeks, scaffolding has started to go up around the western
arm of the nave as the roof repair works get underway. But this is a long and expensive project. In total, it will take five years and £3.2 million to undertake the required works and to date we have
secured slightly more than £504,000 towards the project, leaving nearly £2.7 million to be raised between now and 2020. We are hopeful that Sign-A-Slate offers a very tangible and interactive way for people to show their support for this important project.”

Commenting on the current state of the roof, Izaak Hudson, Cathedral Architect, said: “The existing cathedral roof has been in place since it was first laid c1885-1908, which means the slates we are
removing are between 107 and 130 years old. Many of the slates are delaminating and also suffering from corrosion of the nails which fix them and breakages around the nail holes which cause the tiles to slip and create holes. Because the roof space is so large, much of the rainwater that is getting in evaporates before it drains through the vault stonework into the main cathedral spaces, but it is important we undertake the repairs now to ensure the interior of the cathedral remains protected. For
those of us who will be laying the new slates that have been signed, it will be a real honour as every single one will be a reminder of the various ways people value and support the preservation of Cornwall’s only cathedral.”

In conclusion, the Dean commented: “We truly believe this will be an enjoyable activity for people to take part in, and whether you use the slate to sign your name, draw a picture, mark a special occasion or even remember a loved one, your messages really will be a lasting legacy.”

To take part in Sign-A-Slate, simply visit the ‘Slate Station’ in the cathedral. Open between 10am and 3pm from Monday to Saturday, cathedral representatives will be on hand to answer any questions and provide you with your slate and a special, permanent slate pen to use to write your message. Anyone who signs is encouraged to share photographs with their slate on Twitter and Facebook using #TCsignaslate.
Those wishing to take part but who are unable to visit the cathedral to write on the slate in person can download and complete a Sign-A-Slate donation form from the appeal website (, including a note of what you would like written on the slate. The cathedral team will gladly scribe on your behalf.

To find out more, download a donation form or make an online donation to the Truro Cathedral Roof Appeal


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