The Monastery

150th Anniversary Appeal Launched by Sing Live Choir


The stone walls of Gorton Monastery echoed with the sound of heavenly voices as a choir launched an appeal to restore 12 of the venue’s statues.

Singers travelled from all across the country for the event to launch the monastery’s 150th anniversary appeal. The aims to raise enough cash to restore 12 stone statues to their former glory and place them back on show in the monastery.

Around 300 people gathered for the event at the Gorton Lane venue on Easter Sunday.

The Sing Live Choir, which has just returned from a tour of Tuscany, Italy, performed 14 songs including works by Mozart and John Rutter.

Elaine Griffiths, chief executive of Gorton Monastery, said: "It was absolutely magical, a beautiful afternoon. We hope it will be the first of many concerts here with Sing Live. "It’s very important that we have buildings like this in local communities where everyone can come and enjoy regardless of background or faith."

The original sandstone statues – each 6ft tall – were removed from the monastery for salvage but were later seen in a catalogue for auction at Sotheby’s and bought by Manchester council in a bid to save them. Some are badly damaged and in storage until the money can be raised for their restoration. They will then be placed back on their vantage points high up on the pillars where everyone can see them.

The Monastery Trust has organised more concerts and events over the summer as part of the appeal. Steven Roberts, who conducted the 85-strong choir, said: "Being here to sing gives us a great way to launch the appeal for the restoration of the Saints."

Pete Bainbridge
April 25, 2011


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