The pandemic and unforeseen restoration work on the nave roof have delayed our development of the outdoor sanctuary space.


When we consulted the public there was a lot of support for an outside sanctuary space. On the south-facing side of the Minster an area of grass will be allowed to grow to encourage a wildflower meadow and wildlife habitat for everyone to enjoy.  The scheme will be developed with community involvement.


The monastery founded by John in the 8th century would no doubt have grown herbs for culinary and medicinal use. Vegetables and flowers were also grown in monastic gardens.

Today the Minster is committed to taking seriously its responsibility for protecting planet earth and we will be guided on our journey by ‘Eco Church’ – an A Rocha UK project. Visit our eco-living page.

It seems fitting that in the 21st century we are able to develop an environmentally-friendly space close to where archeology suggests the monastic buildings of John were situated.

The Minster has a team of gardening volunteers who are eager to work with the community in developing this amenity – a place of sanctuary in a busy world.

The work will be coordinated by our Learning and Engagement Officer who is looking forward to hearing from you to offer support.