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The Honourable Michael Benson, Director of the York Minster Fund (2007– 2016), has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours published today. The award recognises Michael’s outstanding service on behalf of York Minster.
Michael was Chief Executive Officer of York Minster Revealed, the £20 million restoration and conservation project (2011-2016), that transformed the cathedral, making it one of the most internationally renowned and visited Christian places of worship, a centre of excellence for the conservation and preservation of stained glass and a world leader in the teaching of traditional craft skills such as masonry and joinery.
Supported by a generous £10.5million grant from the National Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the landmark project included the restoration and conservation of the Minster’s 600 year-old East Front and Great East Window, the largest single expanse of medieval stained glass in the country.
Michael’s first involvement with York Minster was in 2000 when he started as a volunteer in the Development Office. This later merged into the York Minster Fund, creating an effective and fruitful partnership which raises more than a £1 million a year for the Minster.
Commenting on his MBE, Michael said:
“The award was for all those involved in the restoration of the Minster and particularly recognises the great team involved in York Minster Revealed.”
The Right Reverend Dr Jonathan Frost, Dean of York, said Michael’s oversight of the project and the York Minster Fund came at a critical phase in the Minster’s history. Jonathan said:
“Michael is a classic change-maker: effective, insightful and inspirational, with a clear vision, enormous energy and the force of personality needed to keep such a complex and important project on track. The transformative effect of York Minster Revealed will resonate for many years and the award of this MBE is testament to Michael’s part in that story.
“Today, the entire Minster Community will join in sending our prayers, our thanks and our warmest congratulations to Michael on this wonderful achievement.”
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