Members of faith communities locally in Washington, across the country, and even as far as New Zealand have rallied around Washington National Cathedral in its time of need. In the first gesture of a faith community’s financial support, Cardinal Donald Wuerl sent a check for $25,000 on behalf of the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington to help toward the costs of restoration.
“It was with both shock and sadness that I learned of the damage sustained by Washington National Cathedral,” said Cardinal Donald Wuerl. “The National Cathedral holds a special place in the hearts of all of us in Washington. So many recognize it as a national house of prayer, and indeed its magnificent Gothic towers are a reminder of our constant need to raise our hearts in prayer to God in the midst of all of our daily preoccupations.”
Meanwhile, the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, notified the Cathedral of the national church’s formal financial gift of $10,000 and said in a statement, “I urge your prayers for all who visit, learn, and worship in the Episcopal Church’s and the nation’s central cathedral. This worship space has been the site for presidential inaugural services and funerals, prayer services following national tragedies, and continues to be a house of prayer for all people.”
The Rev. Dr. James Herbert Cooper, rector of Trinity Wall Street, sent a $5,000 donation on behalf of the historic parish in New York City. The Very Rev. Jacob W. Owensby, dean of St. Mark’s Cathedral, sent $5,000 on behalf of the people of the Episcopal cathedral in Shreveport, La. Locally in the D.C. area, the Rev. Janet Vincent, rector of St. Columba’s Episcopal Church, notified the Cathedral leadership of its vestry’s $5,000 gift, while the Virginia Theological Seminary sent $1,000 in support.
Perhaps the most poignant contribution came from Christchurch Cathedral, New Zealand, whose dean, the Very Rev. Peter Beck, wrote, “We have suffered very significant damage to our cathedral, and in solidarity with your good selves, the dean and Chapter at our meeting this afternoon, agreed to send a donation of $500 as a small gesture of our care and concern, and to let you know that you are held in our prayers here in Christchurch.” The Anglican cathedral in Christchurch, New Zealand, sustained significant damage following a magnitude 6.3 earthquake on February 22, 2011.
Yet another example of faithful support was a donation of $300, sent from the First Congregational Church in Columbus, Ohio, on behalf of its church choir, which visited the Cathedral and sang at services in August as a guest choir. “The Cathedral and staff have been in our thoughts and prayers, and we wish you God’s blessing as you go about restoring this magnificent place of worship to the glory of God,” said Martha Worth, the church’s program manager.