Comments: The Church of England and the living wage

It costs £10.50 for an adult to enter Canterbury Cathedral. If anyone wants to borrow my Dog Collar they can get in for FREE.

Posted by Father David at Monday, 23 February 2015 at 4:26pm GMT

But, Father, if everyone borrows your dog collar, you might end up having to pay the 10 pound 50 yourself.

Posted by Edward Prebble at Monday, 23 February 2015 at 10:24pm GMT

You wouldn't expect anything better from the Tory press. The forthcoming general election is going to be one of the dirtiest ever fought.

Posted by robert ian Williams at Tuesday, 24 February 2015 at 6:57am GMT

I understand, Father David, that is one wishes to enter Canterbury Cathedral to pray or worship, that entry will be free. Is that not so?

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Tuesday, 24 February 2015 at 10:08am GMT

The terms on which many church musicians are engaged (as pseudo-volunteers) would also be considered an evasion of minimum wage law in any other setting. It's quite ridiculous that the church thinks it's in a position to lecture business and government on this topic.

Posted by AndrewT at Tuesday, 24 February 2015 at 12:12pm GMT

Is the UK so homogenous that a single "living wage" will work? In the States, the cost of living varies so much that a single "living wage" would be unworkable.

Posted by Chris H at Tuesday, 24 February 2015 at 3:23pm GMT

What fascinated me about the Archbishop of Canterbury's comments was the way in which he produced '40,000 trusts and charities' like a magician extracting rabbits from a top hat.

The Archbishops and the bishops have made lots of comments recently, speaking as the head of the one Anglican Church, on diverse topics ranging from equal marriage, mitochondrial diseases, the refusal to accept the ministry of women, and the defence of the Green Report -including, incidentally its cost-, and at no point have those comments mentioned that actually it's not one church but '40,000 trusts and charities'. Perhaps they could make up their minds before the poor chaps in the Press Office expire from terminal confusion...

Posted by Stevie Gamble at Tuesday, 24 February 2015 at 6:07pm GMT

In 2010 I attended Evensong at St Paul's and so avoided the entry fee. I had visited as a tourist in 1974, forget details re fee. It always amazes me that in France, entry to cathedrals even Notre Dame, Paris is free because the secular state supports them. This year I am going to an organ recital in the evening at Notre Dame to avoid the queues.

Posted by Brian Ralph at Tuesday, 24 February 2015 at 7:53pm GMT

Well, this (revelation) was entirely predictable. Physician Heal Thyself, et al...

Posted by JCF at Tuesday, 24 February 2015 at 9:27pm GMT

Dear Fr. Ron, The travelling expenses from New Zealand might be a bit steep if you desire to visit the Mother Church of the Anglican Communion. Yes, indeed, mercifully you don't have to pay to get into an act of worship. Earlier today I went along to St. Paul's for a beautiful offering of Prayer Book Evensong sung by a wonderful School Choir from Solihull and I paid not a single penny piece. Wearing a collar and tie had I gone earlier in the day it would have cost me a lot more than £10.50. Thankfully it is still free to get into "the greatest cathedral on planet earth, bar none" - long may Dean Sadgrove keep it that way.

Posted by Father David at Tuesday, 24 February 2015 at 10:33pm GMT

Anyone living in Canterbury Inc all students can apply for a free pass Fr David

Posted by Perry Butler at Tuesday, 24 February 2015 at 10:43pm GMT

I'm a bit disturbed by offers of avoiding the entrance fee. As our Cathedrals aren't financed through the tax system, what are they to do to stay afloat? Take money from the parish share? Accept that people want to treat them as a free museum without contributing?

Maybe if more people contributed properly the church would be better able to pay a living wage to all its staff?

Posted by Erika Baker at Wednesday, 25 February 2015 at 9:55am GMT

That's highly commendable Perry free passes for Canterbury cathedral for all local residents, shouldn't it also be free entry to the Mother Church of the Anglican Communion for all practising Anglicans, who already pay generously towards the Parish Share and the upkeep of their own parish churches?

Posted by Father David at Wednesday, 25 February 2015 at 12:00pm GMT

Thankfully only about 5 cathedrals charge to go in. Chester recently stopped charging and they now have more visitors and a higher income than when they charged.

When my husband was Canon Treasurer of York Minster he said we would charge to go in over his dead body! When we went to York his first actions were to raise the level of wages( there was a large staff of builders,stone masons vergers etc) and introduced a Pension Scheme. The first year we ran on a deficit budget but the money came in.
The next year he increased the insurance on the Cathedral and when the south transept burned the insurance completely paid for the repair. The contrast to replace was made with the Minster staff. Any money which came in was used for extra fire precautions etc.

In our day the 3 Residentiary Canons led worships and did their residence but the 3 of them shared the running of the Minster between them.My husband was in charge of Minster work force and the fabric as well as the budget and accounts.He did have an assistant bursar.
Now York has 10 managers to cover what was done by the Canons .He left the Minster with a large amount in reserve which the next Dean squandered having discontinued the office of Treasurer. A 'temporary ' charge was introduced to pay the debt, It still continues! The Minster used to be crowded with people during the day especially when wet. In the evenings people came into the Minster and sat and meditated.

Cathedrals can be maintained without charging and became real centres of outreach and mission - and pay their staff properly!

Posted by Jean Mayland (Revd) at Wednesday, 25 February 2015 at 12:57pm GMT

I've just revisited Ronald Jasper's biography on George Bell, that great Dean of Canterbury and that even greater Bishop of Chichester. On page 38 of the book it states:-
"In 1925 Bell achieved a cherished desire of abolishing entrance fees and making all parts of the Cathedral church itself free to visitors."
I'm sure that sentence would warm the heart of the One who once overturned the tables of the money changers in the Jerusalem Temple.
On page 55 of the same volume, concluding the chapter on Bell's time as Dean of Canterbury is an autobiographical poem by Bell himself which shews how proud he was of his achievement in abolishing entrance fees:-
"From Lambeth I, with full courage,
Made a decanal pilgrimage;
Succeeding to the dead Dean Wace,
I sat where now is the red Dean's place,
And helped all NOBODIES to see
The whole cathedral without fee,
We were young, we were wise, and very, very merry
And founded the Friends of Canterbury."

Posted by Father David at Wednesday, 25 February 2015 at 1:25pm GMT

Ronald of course was Dean when we were at York and supported Ralph in having no charge to enter.

Bishop Bell was absolutely right.

Posted by Jean Mayland (Revd) at Wednesday, 25 February 2015 at 5:33pm GMT

It's great that the Bishops want to urge politicians to be more caring and work for social justice... bu they may need to do that by setting an example to politicians, as well as preaching to them!

For instance, the 26 Bishops who sit in the Lords should make it clear that their parliamentary income is deducted from their episcopal stipends, rather than being an extra income?

That stes a good example if we think that politicians shouldn't earn extra income through having second jobs.

Posted by Rev David at Wednesday, 25 February 2015 at 5:43pm GMT

I appreciate that churches, including Cathedrals, do not receive direct State funding, but every time someone completes the little Gift Aid envelope during service collections, or when making a donation, the State dutifully coughs up a chunk of money.

It's an indirect subsidy, but it's a subsidy all the same, and all the more reason to encourage people to fill in the details.. It doesn't apply to charges made to enter cathedrals etc but that, of course, is not a gift...

Posted by Stevie Gamble at Wednesday, 25 February 2015 at 6:39pm GMT

I am glad to say that Chichester does not charge and hopefully never will. The spirit of George Bell still lives here.

Posted by Richard Ashby at Thursday, 26 February 2015 at 11:00am GMT
Post a comment









Remember personal info?






Please note that comments are limited to 400 words. Comments that are longer than 400 words will not be approved.

Cookies are used to remember your personal information between visits to the site. This information is stored on your computer and used to refill the text boxes on your next visit. Any cookie is deleted if you select 'No'. By ticking 'Yes' you agree to this use of a cookie by this site. No third-party cookies are used, and cookies are not used for analytical, advertising, or other purposes.