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10 million visited cathedrals in 2014

by Aaron James

On average, 36,000 people attended cathedrals across Britain last year.

Cathedrals in London, the South East and Yorkshire and the Humber have seen the biggest growth since 2004.

There was also an increase in young people visiting cathedrals, with the number attending educational events at them increasing by nearly 14% between 2004 and 2014.

The number of volunteers supporting the mission and ministry of cathedrals has also risen over the last ten years, currently standing at around 15,200.

According to the Church of England, the biggest reasons people gave for visiting cathedrals were "peace and contemplation, worship and music, and a friendly atmosphere."

Very Revd Christopher Dalliston, the Dean of St Nicholas' Cathedral in Newcastle, said: "One of the things we've done is to try to respond to the number of tourists and visitors.

"We've developed a chaplaincy scheme so as well as having welcomers to help people who want to come and explore we can articulate clearly the spiritual dimension of the cathedral and we have found that's been enormously appreciated.

"What people have really discovered is that when they drop in to worship or visit they find a community that is welcoming, open and inclusive.

"I think that's one of the things that's been really significant in cathedral growth in every respect: in worship, developing groups and responding to the needs of the community.

"It's the fact that permission is offered for anyone to come whenever and for whatever purpose but that there is an opportunity to engage at a deeper level."

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