Cathedral survived the war(only just) but could now face closure because of Covid pandemic
The Cathedral’s income fell by 90 percent last year. It spends £8 million a year in running costs (Picture: Trevor Grundy)
by Trevor Grundy
St Paul’s Cathedral is one of London’s best known religious and tourist attractions. It seemed certain to stay open forever, unless students at Oxford and Cambridge discovered Sir Christopher Wren was a closet slave dealer.
But today, the magnificent church is facing its worst financial crisis in 300 years. The reason? A massive decline in tourism during the Covid pandemic. Fear is that St Paul’s Cathedral might even be closed permanently.
The cathedral, which relies almost entirely on ticket sales, suffered a 90 percent fall in income last year because of the virtual collapse of the tourism industry because of the Covid pandemic.,
Running costs amount to £8 million a year but last year the 324 year-old building, designed by Wren following the Great Fire of London in 1666, received only £3.3 million from the culture recovery fund forcing it to spend most of its reserves to stay open to worshippers and the general public.
St Paul’s Cathedral after a German attack on London during World War Two.
The Dean of St Paul’s, the Very Rev David Ison, told reporters that “big decisions” are needed.
He told the BBC -“If we can’t raise the resources to be able to employ the people to look after the building and pay for the heating and lighting, we would have to shut our doors.”
Renovation plans amounting to £15 million have been put on hold. About 25 percent of full-time staff have been made redundant and further cuts could be made in days to come.