The Chair of England’s Cathedral Deans has called on all who value cathedrals to visit them and assist their recovery in the aftermath of Covid-19.
“The simple message for everyone is 'come and visit your cathedrals!'” the Dean of Leicester, David Monteith said.
He was speaking as the Church of England published Cathedrals data from 2020 showing a 64 per cent reduction between 2019 and 2020 in on-site worshippers throughout the week, mainly due to covid-19 restrictions on places of worship.
Separate data by the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA) for 2021 showed a 57 per cent reduction across all attractions, with St Paul's Cathedral and Westminster Abbey both named in the report.
Very Rev David Monteith said: “Cathedrals across the country are working hard to welcome back more visitors and worshippers and the picture has improved in the time since this data was gathered, but it remains a challenging environment not least because of current utility cost increases.
“Cathedrals and churches are here to support their communities including people who are still struggling following Covid-19, and as focal points for prayer and reflection and action in light of world events including the war in Ukraine.
“Local people have supported their cathedrals throughout, and we are grateful for the emergency grant funding which the Government and Church have provided, but this has now ended.
“Cathedrals serve congregations and wider communities through worship, heritage, education and civic events.
“They are landmarks which characterise our regions and are testaments to faith and witness across the centuries. We are committed – with the help of all who visit, worship, and value them, to ensuring they continue long into the future. We exist for God’s glory, for all the peoples of England and for those who join us from further afield,” he continued.
Cathedrals will host services and prayer events for the National Day of Reflection on 23rd March to mark two years since the first Covid-19 lockdown in England.