Chillax-time for LEGO builders at Durham Cathedral

Written by: Elmtree Press

A group of young people from a County Durham school have turned their business heads towards Durham Cathedral’s LEGO build as part of a project undertaken in their after-school club.

The 11-16 year olds from Whitworth Park School & Sixth Form College are all members of the Chillax after school club which runs social and fun activities as part of the Durham County Council Public Health CREE initiative.

As part of the scheme, the pupils have volunteered locally and taken part in the Lumiere festival in Durham and they are also given a budget and asked to decide how they would like to spend their funds.

Chillax group leader Wendy Minhinnett from Success (North East) said “The young people involved in Chillax have benefitted enormously this year. We have seen them grow in confidence and it is lovely to watch them taking responsibility for the management of some of the projects we've taken part in. Best of all, they have had a great deal of fun and have really gelled as a group socially".

Durham Cathedral Education Officer, Philippa Coad, went to the school to deliver work with the pupils on their chosen section of the LEGO build. She said: “The chosen sections were a corner of the Tower and the remainder of the roof for the Chapel of the Nine Altars. It can be a complex process sorting the pieces and following the intricate plans but the pupils were excellent and really enjoyed building their sections and seeing them get added to the model.”

The 350,000 piece LEGO Cathedral was started as a fundraising project in July 2013, to raise money for Open Treasure, a £10 million pound exhibition experience set to open this summer which is transforming public access to some of the Cathedral’s most spectacular spaces.  Donations of £1 per brick have been coming in ever since from local businesses, schools, groups and visitors from across the globe.

Head of Development, Gaye Kirby, said: “We have had donations for over 230,000 bricks now, which is really wonderful and it has been fabulous to see the many varied ways that people have chosen to interact with this project, from team-building sessions to celebrating birthdays and weddings. We are delighted that the pupils from the Chillax group at Whitworth Park School chose us as a beneficiary of their funds and have been able to not only build a section during their after school club but also get the satisfaction of seeing that section laid in place on the model.”

You can support the LEGO Cathedral project by visiting the Cathedral and placing bricks on the model in person or donating online at

For more information about Open Treasure please visit