REVIEW of REVIEWS

Are Cathedrals Really Efficient?

Bishop of Gloucester Doubts That English Ones Justify Money Spent on Them

October 1 1932
REVIEW of REVIEWS

Are Cathedrals Really Efficient?

Bishop of Gloucester Doubts That English Ones Justify Money Spent on Them

October 1 1932

Are Cathedrals Really Efficient?

REVIEW of REVIEWS

Bishop of Gloucester Doubts That English Ones Justify Money Spent on Them

PUBLIC OPINION

THAT the great cathedrals of England are not used as efficiently as they might

be is the opinion of the Bishop of Gloucester, who is reported by Public Opinion (London) as having stated:

“Undoubtedly, compared with a hundred years ago, the cathedrals do their work more efficiently. But for all that, many people have great searchings of heart. Do the cathedrals justify themselves at the present day? Do they justify the large sums of money which are spent upon them? Does the Church at the present time get a sufficient return for the money that it spends?

“The work of the Church at the present time is carried on under considerable financial straits. Many people are conscious of the inadequate pay of a large proportion of the clergy, of the inadequate staffing of many parishes, and the Church is making a real effort to put its house in order.

"Is it not then natural that people should begin to ask, Here are these highly paid officials—deans, canons and so on. Do we really get our money’s worth for what is paid to them? Could not the work that they do be accomplished much more economically than it is? Might it not even be accomplished better than it is? Is full use made of our cathedrals?

“The complaints made are frequent, and the feeling that the cathedrals might do more for the country and the Church is very widespread; and now that the opportunity has come for putting your house in order, for freeing yourselves from the restrictions of ancient customs or regulations, for bringing yourselves into touch with the needs of the day, I would press upon you the importance of taking advantage of it.

"If I happen to walk through the streets of Gloucester on a Sunday evening between eight and nine I am impressed by the great body of young people wandering about, obviously with no place to go to. Attempts have been made to provide occupation for them in theatres, or by Nonconformist missions, but at Liverpool there is a popular service at the cathedral at eight on Sunday evening, and the building is crowded.

“Why have all such services been dropped in this cathedral? Why is it that our cathedrals have so little hold or arouse so little interest in the great body of the people? As I see on a Saturday afternoon a crowd of people walking past the cathedral to a football match without lifting up their eyes to the building at all, I wonder where the failure is in our religious training.

“I would remind you of the responsibility of the work with which at the present time we are entrusted. We are all agreed that the maintenance of the spiritual life of the people of this country’ is the most important task with which we are concerned. In that work our cathedrals should play a great part. The appeal which their history and beauty make is very great.”