ANYONE with a National Lottery ticket or scratch card can have a free day out, courtesy of the Church of England, this weekend. From free tower and crypt tours to exclusive lectures, lottery-supported cathedrals and churches across the UK want to give something back to players.
Canterbury, Durham, Gloucester, Hereford, Leicester, Lincoln, and Worcester Cathedrals are all taking part, according to National Lottery information, as well as All Saints’, Winterton, in Lincolnshire; St Peter and St Paul, Watford; St Alfege’s, Greenwich; St Botolph’s, Boston; and St George’s, Ticknall, in Derbyshire.
Most of the give-aways consist of free guided tours and goodie bags. There is a chance to climb the 225-foot medieval tower of Gloucester Cathedral, or learn about the history of Richard III in Leicester. Worcester Cathedral also offered a private lecture on 4 December about the First World War, to introduce its new war poetry audio tour. At the other end of the scale, All Saints’ is giving lottery players free entry to the Winterton Film Club.
These give-aways are part of a campaign by the National Lottery, #ThanksToYou, which runs until Sunday. Some cathedrals have received more than £4 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund in the past five years.
The Dean of Gloucester, the Very Revd Stephen Lake, expressed his support for the Lottery’s scheme. “We are pleased to be able to say ‘Thank you’ for funding from National Lottery players towards the cathedral’s work, all of which contributes to our Christian mission and heritage,” he said this week.
Hundreds of other lottery-funded attractions are taking part in the campaign, including the Eden Project, in Cornwall, and the new V&A museum, in Dundee.