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Open-or-shut case of Leicester Cathedral

02 October 2015


From the Dean of Leicester

Sir, — The principal function of Leicester Cathedral is the worship of God, including baptisms, weddings, funerals, and special services. These services for poor and posh alike often render less income than that gleaned from donations. Cathedrals are not museums — even those that house the remains of a monarch — but instead are working centres of Christian mission. Our accommodation is first to God.

Our transition since the reinterment of Richard III has been enormous. We are learning how to juggle the needs of pilgrims and tourists. We are discovering that in a small building like ours, this needs handling very differently from larger-scale places, including setting aside periods solely designated for worship or core cathedral activity.

This information is published daily on our website (http://leicestercathedral.org), so that visitors can make proper plans to ensure a successful trip to Leicester, providing the best possible access just as Dr Tim Hudson requests (Letters, 25 September).

We have welcomed well over 130,000 people since April, and we look forward to welcoming many more.


St Martin’s House,
Leicester LE1 5PZ


From Miss Sandra Tracey

Sir, — How did Dr Tim Hudson manage to visit the cathedral website and not notice the bold link to “upcoming closures” on its home page? To find the same information for York Minster involves drilling down three layers, while applying similar logic to that needed to work out that closing earlier versions of Windows required you to click “start”.

York Minster is considerably larger than Leicester Cathedral, and so is much better placed to offer access to part of the building when events are taking place within it. There does not appear to be any reduction in the admission charge when only part of the building is open. Neither is there any reduction for those of us unable to gain access to parts of the building at all. I know which I would class as “mercenary”.

87 Thornton Street
Darlington DL3 6AA


From Mr Derek Jay

Sir, — Unlike Dr Hudson, I found Leicester Cathedral very visitor-friendly, and its website very informative about times of closure.

41a Alma Vale Road
Bristol BS8 2HL


From Mr Jim Pearman

Sir, — The regulations regarding a wedding in a church state that, in addition to the minister, bride, and groom, there should be two witnesses, and the door must not be locked. I would conclude that having stewards on the door to prevent access by members of the public is equivalent to having the door locked.


27 Harvington Close
Worcestershire DY11 5LP

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