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Anglican cathedrals fear running out of cash

Sun 31 Jan 2016
By Hannah Tooley

Two thirds of those running England's Anglican cathedrals say they are worried about running short on finances within two years, according to a new survey.

Five deans stated that they were "very worried" about funding, while another 21 said they felt "worried", according to the BBC.

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Three in four (30) said it would soon be "essential" to open cathedrals up as venues, for a selection of commercial and non-religious organisations in order to meet running costs.

The poll was taken by 38 leaders of the 42 Anglican cathedrals in England, the majority of which are Grade 1 listed.

It found that eight cathedrals charge for entry, with three raising prices in the last year.

Donations accounted for around 20% of income and commercial uses pulled in a further 9%.

However 12 deans said they were "not worried" by finances.

Very Revd Andrew Nunn, dean of Southwark Cathedral in London, told the BBC: "You have to be really imaginative and think what's going to be the most appropriate business model for my cathedral in this place at this time.

"We're next to the Shard, very glittery, very glamorous, people want to access us for conferences. That wouldn't necessarily be the case in other parts of the country.

"Very few places have historic funds. People imagine we're sitting on large treasure chests from the past. That isn't the case."

In 2014 the Government gave 31 cathedrals a share of £8 million for essential repairs as part of a £20 million fund set up in recognition of the role they play in First World War remembrance events.

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