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C of E welcomes new £20m cathedral fund

The organisation says that in 2014 a £20 million grant "went a long way" to help pay for urgent repairs on Anglican cathedrals.

Very Revd Adrian Dorber, Dean of Lichfield and Chair of the Association of English Cathedrals, said: "We are deeply grateful to the Government for the pledge of continuing funding for cathedral repairs.

"Every cathedral faces steep challenges in keeping this great collection of inspiring and historic buildings safely and properly; whereby we can continue to welcome nearly a quarter of the English population every year."

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The Very Revd Adrian Dorber went on to say: "Cathedrals play an important role as community hubs: they foster volunteering, music making, public debate and social action, alongside their primary task of worship and prayer.

"They seek to be constantly accessible to the public and offer a setting where some of the big questions in life can be asked, alongside a tradition of wisdom and hospitality that can minister to the diverse needs of all who come.

"We also play a role in economic regeneration and are increasingly recognised as important contributors to local and regional economies.

"What we spend on repairs helps us sustain craft skills and local employment.

"We congratulate the Chancellor on helping us steward and sustain a key national asset."

It is thought the Church of England's 42 cathedrals alone are visited by more than 11 million people each year.

The organisation is pointing to research which says 78% of people living in a city with a cathedral believed it was at the heart of their city.

Janet Gough, Director of the Cathedral and Church Buildings Division for the Church of England said: "The value of Cathedrals as community hubs is now being recognised widely and I warmly welcome the Government's continued support for the amazing work that goes on in these culturally important buildings, the Jewels in the Crown of our built heritage."

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