Cathedrals affiliated with the Church of England saw an increase in visitors in 2018 and record attendance number for their Easter services, according to a report.
The Church of England’s Research and Statistics unit released a report late in November analyzing various activities at cathedrals from Jan. 1, 2018–Dec. 31, 2018.
The report found that around 9.8 million people visited cathedrals in 2018, with about a third of them either paying to visit or giving a donation. Westminster Abbey alone received more than 1 million visitors.
This represented a 10 percent increase in visitors compared to 2017, and a slight increase from the 9.6 million visitors reported 10 years earlier in 2008.
The report found that 58,000 attended Easter worship services, making 2018 the highest year for Easter attendance when comparing annual figures back to 2008.
For Holy Week in 2018, total attendance was at 95,000. This was larger than the 94,000 in 2017, and the largest total attendance for Holy Week when comparing annual figures back to 2014.
Eve Poole, Third Estates Church Commissioner of the Church of England’s Cathedrals Support Group, said in a statement that she was “proud that our cathedrals are a precious resource not only for the church but for the nation as well.”
“We know from countless anecdotes that many who visit as tourists encounter something deeper, and cathedrals have been imaginative in creating more opportunities for people from all walks of life to cross their thresholds,” Poole said, according to Anglican Communion News Services.
The report also found a slight decline in regular cathedral worship attendance, as 2018 had 36,700 people attending “usual cathedral services,” versus 37,000 in 2017.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski