When the reroofing of Truro Cathedral reaches its completion in two years’ time there will be some royal names looking down on congregation members.

Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, took the opportunity to sign a slate to be used in the restoration, in support of the Truro Cathedral Roof Appeal.

Around half of the 60,000 slates have now been replaced, with money partially raised through the cathedral’s ‘Sign-A-Slate’ project, where people can donate money towards a slate to sign, to mark a special occasion, loved one or just for fun.

As the Patron of the Restorative Justice Council, the Princess Royal’s visit on Thursday was primarily focussed on celebrating developments in Cornwall’s schools, which have been supported by the Cornish social enterprise RJ Working.

However, Truro Cathedral was thrilled that Her Royal Highness was also able to dedicate some time in her visit to learn more about the cathedral’s capital appeal and to demonstrate her support for the project.

The Dean of Truro, the Very Reverend Roger Bush, said: “There is, of course, always a great sense of excitement around royal engagements and this visit was no exception.

“It was a privilege to welcome the Princess Royal, not only to offer our spectacular cathedral as a place where she could engage with the work being carried locally out by the organisation of which she is a patron, but also, by participating in ‘Sign-A-Slate’, to enable her to learn more about our history and enable her to be part of our story for the future.”

Falmouth Packet:

The £3.2 million, five-year Roof Appeal launched in July 2015 and, thanks to the generosity of supporters, has so far raised £1.4 million, enabling the western arm of the nave, the south aisle western arm, the Baptistry and the south west porch to be re-slated. This means over 29,000 of the required 60,000 slates have now been replaced.

The Dean added: “We have been overwhelmed with the level of engagement Sign-A-Slate has inspired and we extend sincere thanks to everyone that has and continues to support the appeal.

“The cathedral means so much to so many people, and those people have been moved to write messages on the reverse of the new slates for many reasons, from celebrating a good day out or special occasion to remembering loved ones passed.

“Knowing that the messages will become part of the fabric of the building, part of the cathedral’s story is an emotional, spiritual and moving thing. We are very happy that the Princess Royal was able to participate and experience that first-hand.”

Falmouth Packet:

The slate signed by the Princess Royal will be laid, together with the slates signed in 2016 by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, during the third and final phase of the physical roof works. This is scheduled for completion in 2020 but with £1.8 million still to raise, fundraising for this historic conservation project is more important than ever.

The Dean added: “The roof appeal has been very successful so far, but there is still much work to do to ensure that this glorious building remains watertight for the next hundred years and more.

“Truro Cathedral prides itself on being sacred space and common ground, a place where everyone is welcomed and valued. We appreciate enormously those who have shown us support so far, but if other people can support this appeal we will be very grateful.

“This is Cornwall’s cathedral for Cornwall’s people, and we want to ensure that this can be so for many generations to come.”