Despite Covid-19 restrictions, the number of people visiting Church of England cathedrals increased by 22 percent in 2021. The rise can be attributed to weddings, baptism services, and general visitors. However, the footfall figure was still 58 percent below that recorded in 2019.
Over 200 wedding ceremonies were conducted in cathedrals during 2021, which was 93 percent of the figure from 2019, and represented an increase of 250 percent from the 2020 total.
Although the total number of recorded baptism services in 2021 was only 43 percent of the figure in 2019, it still represented a 242 percent increase from the figure in 2020.
However, not all areas of cathedral life have shown signs of recovery. In 2021, volunteering struggled to match the numbers in 2019, with a 21 percent reduction.
David Monteith, the Dean of Canterbury and Chair of the College of Deans, said: "It is encouraging to see the beginning of recovery in our cathedrals in 2021 even amid the ongoing impacts of the pandemic.
"Church of England cathedrals have been an integral part of the country's cultural heritage for over a thousand years, and they continue to serve as places of worship, community gathering, and tourism.
"The data from 2021 demonstrates the resilience of the cathedrals and their importance to local communities in the face of adversity.
"We have adapted to the changing circumstances throughout the pandemic, and some of what we have learnt is here to stay. This includes the gift of online worship, with many cathedrals reaching new congregations, together with those who would prefer to join services from home.
"As we look to the future, and continued recovery, we remain committed to supporting our whole communities, particularly those in need, providing a place of worship, prayer and sanctuary for all."