Bishop of Leeds asks Government about support for cathedrals

Leeds 300418 bOn 14th May Lord Cormack asked Her Majesty’s Government “what plans they have to assist England’s historic cathedrals.” The Bishop of Leeds, the Rt Revd Nick Baines, asked a follow-up question:

The Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, does the Minister agree that underlying this Question is the need for some long-term attention to be given to cathedrals, rather than having one-off initiatives such as the First World War repairs fund? I extend to him an invitation to visit my diocese—I am the only bishop with three cathedrals, so I can take him on a tour.

Lord Ashton of Hyde: I would of course be delighted to see at least one of them. I accept what the right reverend Prelate said. We look carefully at these issues and understand that it would be nice to have an endowment fund. As I said, this is really a matter for the Chancellor, and my noble friend Lord Cormack, along with, I believe, the deans of several cathedrals, has been to see the Chief Secretary to the Treasury to talk about this. I believe that that was one of the draft recommendations of a Cathedrals Working Group report, which has not yet been agreed by the Church.