Message from The Very Reverend Nick Papadopulos, Dean of Salisbury
It was a huge relief and a great joy to reopen the Cathedral’s doors after the months of lockdown: in June, for individual prayer; and, in July, for public worship and for tourist visiting. We are praying the office and celebrating the Eucharist every day; we have reopened the shop and refectory; and we look forward to hearing the Choir again next month. That worshippers and visitors are returning in growing numbers is a tribute to the Cathedral staff’s diligence and dedication.
In order to maintain a COVID-secure environment pre-booking is required for services and for visits. This allows us to monitor the number of people in the building and to record track-and-trace details, thereby ensuring the safety of all who come. This is a paramount consideration for us, but the necessary restriction on numbers that it involves, together with the substantial loss of income we sustained during the lockdown, means that we now face a very severe financial challenge. Put starkly, we had budgeted to receive £2.2m in visitor income this year: we expect to receive no more than £200,000.
In these circumstances we have launched a Cathedral Recovery Appeal, and have approached our benefactors, our congregation, our volunteers and our Friends for help. The response to date has been very encouraging: we have received nearly £150,000. I am profoundly grateful to those of you who have contributed. If you have not yet done so but would like to then please go to: https://www.salisburycathedral.org.uk/support-us-donate/salisbury-cathedral-recovery-appeal.
One element of the Recovery Appeal is that from Tuesday 1 September the Chapter has decided that tourist visitors will be charged for entry to the Cathedral. The economic reality of COVID means that our donations system, which operated very successfully for many years, is no longer adequate for our needs. With necessarily lower visitor numbers every visit needs to count.
Those attending worship or wishing to pray will not pay the charge, and several groups will be exempt: Salisbury residents, Diocesan parishioners, members of the congregational roll, and the under-13s.
Parishioners in the Diocese will be able to book up to two free visitor tickets. If you would like to take advantage of this offer please contact firstname.lastname@example.org as this offer must be booked through the parish.
We look forward to welcoming you to your cathedral.