We might have just experienced some of the hottest
summer weather for years, but in Truro they are already preparing
Last Friday, the Cathedral opened a store in the
heart of the city's shopping centre, stocking the usual
requirements for a successful festive season. And if the idea's a
cracker, it will be repeated for Easter.
Officials hope to cash in on the busiest
summer-holiday months. The cathedral has successfully run a
Christmas shop inside its walls for the past five summers, and now
the plan is to take it to the tourist market.
In a statement, spokesman for the Dean and Chapter
said: "We want to take advantage of the huge number of people who
come to visit our city during the summer."
The shop manager, James Barker, said: "The company
that runs the shop on behalf of the cathedral felt there was a
retail opportunity to develop our presence on the high street. We
have really been surprised at how well the Christmas Shop works.
People seem to appreciate the quality of the traditional range of
items we hold; our nativity sets always sell well. We are going to
give it a go, and see what happens."
It may seem a "bizarre decision", the manager of
Truro's Business Improvement District project, Neil Scott, said,
"to open a Christmas shop on one of the hottest days of the year,
but I understand that some of the best trading months for the
cathedral's Christmas-gift ranges are July and August. The opening
of the Cathedral Shop is an exciting and innovative venture, and a
great way to bring a uniquely Truro and Cornish offer to a broader
The Dean of Truro, the Very Revd Roger Bush, said on
Wednesday: "The high-street shop is just around corner from the
cathedral. What goes on inside the cathedral is a bit of a mystery
to many people, even though it has a prominent place in Truro; so a
high-street outlet just gets the cathedral a bit more noticed.
"We wanted to develop the idea of 'Now you've seen
this, come into the cathedral and see what's going on in there.' We
are hoping for a bit of cross-fertilisation. We see it as a real
benefit, having that higher profile out there in the commercial
centre of the city.
"We will review the situation in the New Year, and,
if it is still a feasible proposition, we will carry on. If it
works, great; if it doesn't, I'll be the first to apologise and
say, let's move on."