Due to the difficulty of keeping 1,000-year old stones together, it turns out that there are three things in life that are certain: Death, Taxes, and being asked for money when entering a cathedral. There are, however, different ways of doing this. The two usual suspects are charging an entrance fee, or putting a big glass box in your way as you enter.
Now, don’t get me wrong – I’m strongly in favour of keeping these buildings in good condition. And I have no problem with putting a few quid in each time I visit them. But I do really appreciate it when a church puts a bit of effort in to doing something different to try and raise money.
Enter Durham. Faced with needing to raise £300,000 to do some much-needed restoration work, they’ve set up a unique way of going about it: designing a Lego model of the cathedral, and asking for a donation of £1 for each piece that gets put in. Now, I’m not talking about a small one like this (which is, by the way, a reasonably faithful model of the real thing):
I’m talking about this behemoth, which will be nearly my height when complete, and double my length were I to lie down next to it:
There’s 92,213 pieces in there already, plus an extra five thanks to the efforts of my two young builders. The detail, though, is outstanding. From the stained glass windows to the patterns on the pillars, it’s all there in as much accuracy as you can get from Lego. There’s even a couple of mini-fig builders hanging around the spot where the next set of pieces will go.
Unfortunately, Durham is a bit far from where I live to go regularly, but I’d be keen to keep tabs on this build in person. And I’d give money every time. If only other churches would do something similar. But different…
You can find more info on the build here.