ADMISSION CHARGES AT THE CATHEDRAL – Update – 4th May

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Update:

Talks between the Minister, Cathedral representatives, Church of Scotland legal advisers and Historic Scotland are on going regarding the future funding of the care and maintenance of the Cathedral’s fabric. Historic Scotland have let it be known that their proposal to introduce entry charges is indefinitely postponed pending satisfactory funding alternatives being agreed.
Meanwhile the online and paper petition, which had gathered nearly 5,000 signatures, has been closed and presented. It is currently with the Parliament Petitions Office and MPs and MSPs are aware of its content. Many have expressed their support for our opposition to admission charges and are making their views known to the Cabinet Secretary for Culture and to Historic Scotland. Thus pressure is being maintained without jeopardizing positive outcomes from the discussions of other ways of raising the necessary revenue.
As these are agreed and implemented we will report again via The Chronicle and here on the website.

Original Post:

For more than 800 years Glasgow’s St Mungo’s Cathedral has been serving its parish, city and country, and has been freely open to all who wish to enter. Historic Scotland (who have the care of its fabric and maintenance) intend to bring in admission charges at Glasgow Cathedral from the 1st April 2015. The reason for such a move has been stated to be due to financial pressures on Historic Scotland and the need to make ‘its properties’ pay.

 The stated position of the Kirk Session of Glasgow Cathedral is that The Church should be free to all who feel a need and desire to visit within its walls for any reason. Glasgow Cathedral is a living Church with a vibrant congregation and a mission as the “Mother Church of Glasgow” not simply a monument to the past to be exploited as a source of revenue.

Each day there are numerous people who use the Cathedral as a refuge and find the quiet opportunity for prayer and reflection of great benefit. For example, one can always find people, such as patients, relatives, friends and staff from the Royal Infirmary, which is located adjacent to Glasgow Cathedral, in quiet corners of the building, like the Nurses’ Chapel. Each week the Clergy receive and respond to many hundred “prayer requests” left in the Prayer Chapel. The Kirk Session feels that, to charge a four or five pound admission fee to people with such a need is totally unreasonable.

One member of the Kirk Session, Mary Thomson has begun an on-line petition, which is available at https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/stop-entry-charges-at-glasgow-cathedral Please take a moment to sign.

Here’s a comment from Pamela B.

When I worked at the Royal Infirmary, I frequently spent some of my lunch hour praying in the Cathedral. I found it so helpful to find a quiet corner and bring concerns and praise to God during the working day. The cathedral is more than a tourist attraction: a place of spiritual strength to our city.
and Gordon P. 
This is a worshipping congregation, not simply an historic relic. If Historic Scotland accept their charitable aims and objectives to preserve it then they must also accept the charitable aims and objectives of its normal active use and cover that cost as well. Offering grants and (apparently) generous maintenance facilities does not qualify them to later impose onerous burdens on the normal use of the building by citizens and tax-payers of Glasgow and members of a worshipping congregation.