Richard III reburial fundraising appeal starts

Image copyright van Heyningen and Haward
Image caption As well as the new tomb, much of the cathedral has been redesigned to handle the king's remains

A public appeal to raise money for the reburial of Richard III has been launched.

The remains of the king, who was killed in battle in 1485, were uncovered by archaeologists in Leicester in 2012.

Five days of events accompany a ceremony where the bones will be placed in a tomb in the remodelled Leicester Cathedral on 27 March 2015.

The diocese of Leicester said it had raised £1.9m of the £2.5m cost and set a £50,000 target for the public appeal.

It is calling on schools, clubs, community groups, families and individuals to put on fundraising activities.

Reburial timetable

  • Sunday 22 March: Coffin leaves the University of Leicester, travels round local villages and is taken to Leicester Cathedral
  • Monday 23 to Wednesday 25 March: Remains of King Richard III will lie in repose in the cathedral
  • Monday 23 March: Archbishop of Westminster Cardinal Vincent Nicholls will celebrate Mass for the repose of the soul for Richard III in Holy Cross Church, the Catholic parish church and Dominican priory in Leicester city centre
  • Thursday 26 March: Richard III's remains will be buried in Leicester Cathedral in the presence of the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, senior clergy, other Christian denominations and representatives of other faiths
  • Friday 27 March: Tomb is revealed, to be followed by official celebrations across the city

The Rev Pete Hobson, acting Canon Missioner of Leicester Cathedral, said they wanted everyone to get involved.

He said: "This is Leicester and Leicestershire's story and the eyes of the world will be on us next March and we want everyone in this community to say 'I am a part of that'.

"Sadly, we can't have everyone in the cathedral for the service but this is one way for people to get involved."

Extensive work on the fabric of the church is currently being carried out, including a new enclosure for the tomb area and the relocation of the altar.

Half the money raised by the fundraising efforts will be donated to Combat Stress, a charity that supports those whose lives are emotionally and mentally scarred by their experience of conflict.

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