Friday, 1 March 2013


This letter appears in today's Leicester Mercury:

Inappropriate use for our cathedral
I write in support of Kevin Fletcher's letter ("Cathedral should not be market", Mailbox, February 23), regarding market traders in Leicester Cathedral.
In November, I e-mailed the cathedral authorities expressing similar concerns but have yet to receive a response.
Whenever I am in town, about once a week, I like to pop into the cathedral, light a candle and have a few quiet moments to say a prayer.
I attempted to do so on Saturday, November 17, and was charged £1 to be admitted.
I was happy to pay because I assumed there was a Christmas fair, or some sort of charitable event taking place.
However, when I got inside I found out this was not the case.
The cathedral had taken on the appearance of a market place and I was told the stall-holders were traders who had paid a fee to be there.
While I appreciate it is good for the Church to reach out to the community, and that revenue obtained by the cathedral from the stall-holders might be put to good use, I feel the atmosphere in the building on that day was inappropriate.
I believe the cathedral has other premises, such as St Martin's House where the event could have been held. I do not expect to have the Cathedral building to myself – and it is nice when the cathedral is full of people.
On November 17, however, it did indeed feel like the sort of place where Jesus would wish to overturn the tables.
I was able to light my candle (for which I made a voluntary contribution, as usual) and say a quick prayer, but I felt very uncomfortable.
I also think it was wrong to be charged to enter the cathedral in these circumstances.
Ann Stones, Leicester

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