A calendar featuring photos of Gerald, the much-missed Minster cat, has gone on sale to raise money for York Rescue Boat.

Bengal cat Gerald came to York with his brother Donald when owner Justine Spencer moved here in 2017 to take up a job as a Minster police officer.

She moved into a ’beautiful old property very close the Minster and the Treasurers House’.

Gerald soon took to exploring, prowling around the Minster and greeting visitors. He was unofficially ‘adopted’ as the minster cat.

He made friends with countless visitors – and, when he died last year, Justine received messages from around the world from visitors who had seen him at the cathedral.

A statue of Gerald made by stonecarver Anthony Bartyla was unveiled in April by York-born film and TV star Mark Addy.

And now Justine has released a 2022 calendar packed with images of Gerald doing what he did best – roaming around the Minster, and occasionally having a quiet snooze.

The photos were taken by Justine's friend Charley Harrington, an NHS worker and amateur photographer, who met Gerald late one night when returning from a night shift.

The pair struck up a friendship, and Charley regularly photographed him.

Justine, who is a volunteer with York Rescue Boat, said she naturally thought of the charity when she decided sell the calendar to raise money.

“York Rescue Boat rely purely on donations and I cannot think of a better legacy for Gerald than to potentially save a human life,” she said.

“Even before I’d moved to York I’d heard of York Rescue Boat and made contact with them with a view to volunteering. I’m originally from the coast so feel very drawn to water personally and wanted to get involved in charity work as soon as I moved here.

“My son Sam and I got involved almost immediately, initially in fundraising and then later operationally and we both qualified last year as Foot Patrol.

“We’ve been involved for over three years now and it’s such an incredibly worthwhile charity, literally saving lives every single week.

“I’ve personally been involved in interventions and in rescue operations and have witnessed lives being saved by this committed group of people who are all volunteers like us.

“We were all out in sub zero temperatures last New Year’s Eve which was challenging but completely worthwhile. As uncomfortable as the weather conditions can often be on a cold and dark night riverside, there is no more fulfilling role than to go home after a shift knowing that a life may have been saved that day.”

The ‘Catherdral Cat Gerald of York’ calendars are £15 each and can be bought from The Golden Slipper, 20 Goodramgate, York, or online at cathedralcatgeraldofyork.com/projects-1

All proceeds go to York Rescue Boat.