New Research says Cathedrals Matter

Written on 19/08/2021

New research reveals cathedrals’ considerable contribution to their local economies and communities.

Derby Cathedral is part of a network of Cathedral’s throughout the UK that play an important part of the communities that we operate. This new research is testament to the dedication of our team, congregation and visitors throughout the year.

The report explains:

Cathedrals stand at the heart of their communities and regions – places of faith and worship, welcome and service, wonder and education.

“By our welcoming and inclusive ethos, millions are drawn to our cathedrals every year. It is touching to receive so much public attention and endorsement.  We have, though, been badly affected by the pandemic; the data proves that very clearly. But we’ve risen to new challenges. We’ve gone digital, streamed our services, and reached out to provide practical and spiritual care to be beacons of hope in tough times.

This study gives the evidence of our impact as sacred spaces and places of compassion, community and solace.  England’s cathedrals are resources for our local communities and the nation.”  The Very Revd Adrian Dorber, Association of English Cathedrals.

Fresh evidence lays bare the hugely positive economic and social impact England’s cathedrals have on the cities and communities they serve and the effect the pandemic has had on their contribution.

In 2019, England’s 42 Anglican cathedrals contributed £235m to their local economies. They provided 6,065 jobs full time equivalent jobs and volunteering posts for 15,400 people who gave 906,000 hours of their time. They welcomed more than 14.6 million visits, 308,000 by schoolchildren for educational events, and 9.5m from tourists.

In the same year, cathedrals hosted a rich programme of arts, music, heritage and culture – amounting to 9,580 events equivalent to two every three days – as well as providing the venues for film shoots such as The Crown, Doctor Who and Avengers:Endgame.

They played a huge role socially, responding to local need by running foodbanks, support groups for the more vulnerable, the unemployed, the homeless, outreach activities in schools, residential homes and hospitals, lunch clubs, parent and toddler groups, and community cafes.  And over two thirds of cathedrals are part of the A programme, helping the Church of England achieve its carbon reduction targets by 2030.

Read more on this and download the full report on The Association of English Cathedrals website.

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