Church Commissioners’ written answer: support for cathedrals

On 14th September 2020 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous MP, answered a written question from Rachael Maskell MP on support for cathedrals during the coronavirus outbreak:

Rachael Maskell: [87595]: To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what support is being made available to cathedrals to tackle the financial challenges they are facing as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

Andrew Selous: The Church of England’s 42 cathedrals contribute over £220million to the national economy and have on average 10 million visitors in a typical year.

The closure of churches and cathedrals due to Covid-19 has severely reduced their ability to support both the local and national economy. Estimates suggest that cathedrals are facing anticipated losses due to the pandemic of around £28million in 2020 and a projected further £15million in 2021.

Cathedrals are eligible and are being encouraged to apply for funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Historic England, and the Government’s £1.57bn Cultural Recovery Fund.

The Church Commissioners have made money available to cathedrals in response to the pandemic, including through the £10 million cathedral sustainability fund, of which £1million is to support cathedrals wage bills, £1million to support Lay Clerks and cathedral music, £1million to support specialist heritage trades and a further £5 million on other projects to make cathedrals more sustainable. The Church Commissioners are currently consulting all cathedrals about their current circumstances and potential future financial and non-financial support needs.