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Rugby stars swap balls for bricks at Durham Cathedral

May 16, 2016 | Leisure & Lifestyle

Durham Cathedral welcomed two of the Newcastle Falcons rugby stars as the players swapped their rugby balls for bricks and placed a section on the LEGO model of the Cathedral.

The LEGO model is a fundraising project for Open Treasure, Durham Cathedral’s world-class exhibition experience set to open on 23 July and Newcastle Falcons have supported the project by selling LEGO bricks for the model.

Parts of the scale model, which when complete will measure nearly four metres in length and two metres in height, visited Kingston Park at the game versus London Wasps, where Falcons supporters joined the thousands of people who have bought bricks to build the model and help fund the Cathedral’s new exhibition.

Visiting the Cathedral were Fullback Simon Hammersley and Fly Half Craig Willis both of whom have strong links to the city; Simon spent three years studying economics at Durham University and Craig was a pupil at Durham School, both were delighted to re-visit the Cathedral to place bricks on the model and go on a behind-the-scenes preview of Open Treasure.

Simon said: “When I came here for university, I learned what a big role the Cathedral plays as part of the community. The students go to big events at the Cathedral like Lumiere and of course Durham students graduate in the Cathedral too. In just three years I felt how much of a part it plays in the community, so people from Durham must feel that connection every day.”

Members of the Falcons squad will make a return visit to the Cathedral later in the summer, when they will handle the delicate task of placing the top section of the main tower onto the LEGO model.

Head of Development at Durham Cathedral, Gaye Kirby, said: “It has been wonderful working with the Newcastle Falcons and we are very grateful to all the fans who have contributed to the LEGO build by buying a brick when we visited the ground.

“We’re now looking forward to welcoming squad members back to the Cathedral in the summer when they will set the top of the LEGO Cathedral’s tower in place and I can’t think of any safer pairs of hands than those of our region’s finest rugby players, to do the job.”