Julian urges Minster to Allow England’s Cathedrals to Reopen
June 4, 2020
Julian has today written to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick to urge the Government to immediately relax the rules to allow cathedrals and other larger places of worship to safely reopen to visitors.
It comes as York Minster announced it was facing a £5.2 million shortfall in its budget this year due to the Covid-19 restrictions. The Minster has been closed to both worshipers and paying visitors since March and according to the Government’s current timetable will only be able to reopen at the beginning of July.
The loss of revenue has forced the Dean and Chapter to take the ‘terribly sad’ decision to close the Minster School, which was founded to educate the cathedral’s choristers.
After writing to the Secretary of State, Julian Sturdy said:
“The closure of the historic Minster School is sad news for York and comes at a time when many of our most iconic visitor attractions are facing severe shortfalls in their budget. We cannot allow the economic cost of the lockdown to do long term damage to the heritage and culture of our city.
York Minster is famed for its cavernous interior and lends itself to remaining open for visitors in an age of social distancing. I have therefore called upon the Government to make an exception for cathedrals and larger places of worship and allow them to reopen as soon as possible so that they can benefit from much needed public donations and visitor income”.