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EDITIONS
 Tuesday, 21 January, 2003, 17:17 GMT
Cathedral charges defended
Ely Cathedral
Ely Cathedral charges visitors
The Dean of Ely Cathedral has defended the decision to charge visitors, after a motion was tabled at a church body calling for an end to entrance fees.

The motion, which goes before the General Synod in February, says charging entrance fees risks turning churches from "monuments to Christian commitment" into "tourist commodities".

At present Ely Cathedral, Salisbury Cathedral, St Paul's Cathedral, Canterbury Abbey and Westminster Abbey charge visitors.

Dean Michael Higgins, of Ely Cathedral, criticised the motion.

Cathedral bills

"The question for the general synod is, who is going to pay the cathedral bills - not, presumably the General Synod," he said.

"It's easy to sit in London and make decisions about other people's money."

At present people pay 4 each to enter Ely Cathedral, except during services or on Sundays, or if they want to pray.

Mr Higgins said the cathedral's upkeep works out at about 4,000 a day for heating, lighting, staff costs and building repairs.


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30 Aug 02 | England
30 Jan 98 | UK
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