St Peter Mancroft, Norwich has been awarded further funding in excess of £10,000 for its ‘Gaia Project’ as we explore our planet and the Global Climate Emergency.

The Garfield Weston Foundation has granted £7,500 towards the project with a further £3,000 being granted by The Geoffrey Watling Charity. A donation from a congregation member has also been gratefully received.  Coupled with ECLAS funding, the project has now received over £30,000.

Designed by Luke Jerram, Gaia, a 6m in diameter art installation representing the planet Earth, will be suspended above the choir stalls encouraging visitors to appreciate our planet and its delicate environment. Throughout October, a wide-range of events will further engage us with our planet and help people of all faiths and none to learn about the climate crisis and its implications in a theological and social framework.

Gaia will help people of all ages engage with our planet and the climate crisis. Photo Credit: W5, Belfast

The Gaia model has already been displayed in UK and around the world, including Liverpool Cathedral, Salisbury Cathedral, the Natural History Museum, Hong Kong and Taipei. In the lead-up to COP 26, the hosting of Gaia will enable the church and the city to explore the wide-ranging implications of the climate crisis.

Established over 60 years ago in 1958, the Garfield Weston Foundation is a family-founded, grant-making charity which supports causes across the UK and, in the most recent financial year, gave over £99million. Since it was established, it has exceeded donations of more than £1billion, of which well over half has been given in the past ten years.

One of the most respected charitable institutions in the UK, the Weston Family Trustees are descendants of the founder and they take a highly active and hands-on approach. The Foundation’s funding comes from an endowment of shares in the family business which includes Twinings, Primark, Kingsmill (all part of Associated British Foods Plc) and Fortnum & Mason, amongst others – a successful model that still endures today; as the businesses have grown, so too have the charitable donations.

Known for its transparency, flexibility and straightforward approach, the Foundation supports a broad range of charities from small community organisations to large national institutions. Around 2,000 charities across the UK benefit each year from the Foundation’s grants.

The Geoffrey Watling Charity, established in 1993, distributes grants for charitable purposes to organisations throughout Norfolk and the Waveney District of Suffolk.

The Object of the Charity is to pay or apply the annual income of the Charity’s fund to such charity or charities or for such charitable purpose or purposes as the trustees shall from time to time in their absolute discretion determine.

In total, to June 2021, The Geoffrey Watling Charity have awarded 1,615 grants totalling £8,471,905.