Sir, - The reason that cathedral attendance midweek has
and Comment, 28 November) is that many
parish priests cannot offer services on red-letter days because of
Some parish clergy have several churches to look after, and
consequently weekday attendance is low and discouraging. Other
clergy may be NSMs with a day job that demands their attendance, or
they may have other posts in the diocese, requiring time and
energy. They, therefore, for whichever reason, feel unable to offer
weekday eucharistic worship.
Cathedrals generally have a pool of retired clergy living
locally, together with ordained cathedral staff, and can manage
weekday services with varied timings, to suit both retired and
working communicants. They are also able to "man" their cathedrals
with guides to encourage the sightseeing visitor. Group visits
increase numbers when some of the group attend a eucharistic
The changes are basically social: more retired, older
churchgoers with time; fewer full-time parish clergy.
I am thankful that I lived near enough to a cathedral to enable
me to increase midweek numbers. Alas, however, the cathedral here
lies in a hollow with meagre level car parking ground, and I can no
longer climb out of that hollow when services have ended.
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