To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church of England is taking to ensure the future of St. Paul's Cathedral.
20 May 2021
The Church Commissioners and other National Church Institutions have been in regular contact with the Dean and Chapter of St Paul's Cathedral throughout the pandemic as they have with all the Anglican cathedrals in England. The Church Commissioners made additional financial support available to all cathedrals and dioceses throughout the pandemic over and above the financial support they regularly make available.
The Third Church Estates Commissioner, Dr Eve Poole, has also been in touch with both the Dean and the Chair of Council of St Pauls in the wake of recent headlines and conversations about the additional specific needs of St Paul's are ongoing. Currently, the Church Commissioners are aware that St Paul's Cathedral has received the following financial support during the pandemic from the Church Commissioners and the Government. This does not account for any support received through the Government's furlough scheme:
Church Commissioners Financial Support to St Paul's Cathedral
Dean and 2 Residentiary Canons - Standard Grant
Cathedral Sustainability Grant - staff and administration
Heritage Trade and Skills Grant
Music Grant - Lay Clerks
Government Financial Support to St Paul's Cathedral
Culture Recovery Fund round 1 & 2
Culture Recovery Fund Capital Works Grant
The pandemic has impacted the finances of all cathedrals and churches right across the country to varying degrees, and this is not an experience unique to the Church of England. However, the Church of England is responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of 45% of all grade one listed buildings in the country and the lack of in-person worshipers, educational visits and events have impacted not just the charitable giving and income of all cathedrals and churches but also the social and community and education work the Church supports and funds. Prior to the pandemic, the 'House for Good' report by the National Churches Trust showed clearly the positive social and economic impact a church and cathedral have on their local community, with over 70% of parishes operating over 35,000 social action projects across the country.
The Church of England is grateful to the Government for the continued support of DCMS via the Culture Recovery Fund. The Church looks forward to the opportunity to engage with the Government to look at the future sustainability of its buildings following the publication of the Government's Taylor Review: Sustainability of English Churches and Cathedrals 2017.