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Cathedral launches gin to fund revamp
A cathedral has become the first in Britain to launch its own brand of gin, in a bid to finance the renovation of its crypt.
Blackburn Cathedral hopes bottles of Cathedra - on sale for £45 each - will eventually be sold at other cathedrals nationwide.
The Dean of Blackburn, Very Rev Peter Howell-Jones said: "This is not a novelty, this is a cathedral doing business.
"It's about engaging with people, that's our core business.
"Blackburn is not a tourism centre, it is not a rich part of the world, and we need to reach out to markets beyond our town and region to be sustainable long-term."
Cathedra is one of several fundraising ventures aimed at helping Blackburn Cathedral raise £1 million to transform its crypt into a community, heritage and exhibition space.
Very Rev Howell-Jones added: "Gin is on trend, it is a developing market, and there is a long history of monastic communities brewing mead, wines and beers.
"I wanted to create a brand that would work across the country, that could create an income stream from which all English cathedrals can benefit."
If enough bottles are bought, there are hopes sales could also help fund education, music and social cohesion projects - currently benefiting 6,000 youngsters in 160 schools.
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