On 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.