The materials which make up the Minster building – the stone, timber, glass and lead – are collectively known as the ‘fabric’. The preservation of a building which began over 800 years ago requires constant attention. Unusually for an Anglican church, the responsibility for repairing and maintaining the fabric of the Minster lies not with the Parochial Church Council but with the Beverley Minster Old Fund, an ancient charity established in 1579.
The original title of the Fund was Queen Elizabeth’s Church Endowment, when in that year the Queen granted letters patent under the great seal of England, giving ‘chauntries, lands and tenements’ for the sole purpose of repairing and maintaining the fabric of the Minster.
This apparent act of generosity is somewhat tempered by the fact that her predecessors Henry VIII and Edward VI confiscated from the Minster very considerable assets of land and property during the Reformation.
The Fund receives no help from official sources. Its income is derived entirely from investments, legacies and donations. Inevitably a building of the size and quality of the Minster is extremely expensive to maintain, and a good deal of money, beyond the Fund’s present resources, will be needed in the near future to combat the inexorable process of ageing.
If you are able to make a donation or give a legacy to the Old Fund please go to Supporting the Minster.
A number of short videos showing examples of the maintenance work carried out by Old Fund employees can be found on You Tube. Search for ‘Beverley Minster Old Fund’
There is an example here: