Church Commissioners’ answer – Cathedral entry charges

On 13th September 2017 Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, Second Church Estates Commissioner, answered a written question from Matthew Offord MP about admission charges for cathedrals and abbeys:

Dr Matthew Offord (Hendon): To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, what assessment she has made of the effect of admission costs for cathedrals and abbeys in England on the ability of UK families to visit such places.

Dame Caroline Spelman: There is no central policy on charging for entry at Church of England churches and cathedrals. It is for the cathedral chapters and church incumbents to decide how best to meet their financial obligations, such as running costs and repairs, and in the case of the most popular, to manage their visitor numbers.

However, only nine out of the 42 Church of England cathedrals, and very few churches, charge for entry. All churches and cathedrals which charge for entry give free access to those attending services and for private prayer, and some give free entry on Sundays and at other times. Many also run a full programme of outreach, education programmes and events for children and families which are accessible at little or no cost.


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