Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales has signalled his support for the St Paul’s Anglican Pro-Cathedral Save Valletta’s Skyline Restoration Appeal by making a generous personal donation.

Prince Charles first worshipped at the cathedral while still a Cambridge University undergraduate on two unofficial holiday visits to Malta in 1968 and 1970, when he stayed with the then governor-general’s family.

The amount he donated was not disclosed.

“This valuable endorsement by The Prince of Wales has given the appeal a great fillip and reinforces the strong connections that the cathedral has with the Royal Family,” said Martin Scicluna, co-chairman of the appeal.

Prince Charles spent some of his childhood in Malta.Prince Charles spent some of his childhood in Malta.

The St Paul’s Anglican Pro-Cathedral Save Valletta’s Skyline Restoration Appeal was launched with some fanfare on February 9, the eve of the Feast of St Paul’s Shipwreck in Malta. The cathedral is a universally recognised Valletta landmark but the fabric is in dire need of restoration. Architectural inspections have identified severe problems threatening the tower, the spire and the external and internal stonework.

The appeal has set itself the target of raising €3 million by November 2019, which will be the 175th anniversary of the construction of the cathedral. It is hoped the sum will enable the church to be restored, as well as providing a reasonable endowment for its future maintenance and well-being.

“We have been greatly encouraged by the response to the appeal over the last six months, raising over €500,000 in donations from charities, foundations, individuals and corporate bodies in Malta and the United Kingdom,” Mr Scicluna said.

Prince Charles visits the Malta Trade Fair in 1968.Prince Charles visits the Malta Trade Fair in 1968.

Reasonable sums, he added, have already been pledged for 2018. One of Malta’s leading architectural firms, Architecture Project (AP), has been engaged to undertake the restoration, expected to start in earnest by the first quarter of next year, once all the technical surveys and planning applications for the Grade 1 listed building have been completed.

We have been greatly encouraged by the response, raising over €500,000 from charities, foundations, individuals and corporate bodies

Prince Philip is patron of the Friends of the Cathedral, and President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca is patron of the appeal.

“We have been hugely assisted in our efforts by the unstinting support which has been offered by Maltese, British and other volunteers in raising funds for the appeal through the organisation of events and in encouraging individuals, charities and foundations through their personal contacts in the United Kingdom and Malta to support us,” Mr Scicluna said.

“I think it is fair to say that the Save Valletta’s Skyline Appeal has struck a chord in Malta. With Valletta becoming the European Capital of Culture in January 2018, we hope to be able to maintain the momentum of our fundraising efforts and to witness the first visible improvements to the physical restoration of the cathedral in at least 60 years.”

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