New data shows cathedrals going from strength to strength

Our three cathedrals are celebrating after the publication of new national data showing that cathedrals across the country are going from strength to strength. 
In 2019, 1.3 million people attended services at cathedrals across the country, with midweek service attendance continuing to grow.
England’s cathedrals also attracted nearly 10 million visitors a year, the new data predating COVID-19 restrictions shows.
Attendances at public or civic services in cathedrals grew to just under 1.8 million people in 2019, which includes special services and graduation ceremonies.
The Dean of Bradford, the Very Revd Jerry Lepine said: “2019 was our centenary year at a cathedral and saw over 16,000 people visit Bradford Cathedral, a 50% increase on 2018, whether that was to attend our special services, music and education events, concerts, art exhibitions or partner events with the city. 
“On top of this, our digital presence increased with people discovering more about us through our website and social media.
“These figures are a tribute to the work of our team, volunteers and congregation, and the people and organisations of Bradford, who joined us to celebrate our milestone.
“Adapting to the challenges of COVID in 2020 have seen us continue to offer a Christian presence in the city and engaging with our communities and congregation, through innovative new ideas, as well as continuing to offer something more familiar, in a COVID-secure way: the peace that comes from reflecting in the cathedral, lighting a candle, and holding people in our prayers.”
The Dean of Ripon, the Very Revd John Dobson DL said: “We have been very pleased to see an increase in Sunday attendances, and we are also pleased to see that our congregations are not only growing - but growing younger. 
“In 2020 we have had to respond imaginatively to lockdown and social distancing and this has given a whole new dimension of virtual attendance. 
“The way in which Ripon Cathedral has supported people across the region through these difficult months has found powerful expression in the “A Wing and A Prayer’ installation; each of the 10,000 origami angels representing a prayer made during the first lockdown.”
The Dean of Wakefield, the Very Revd Simon Cowling, said: “Cathedrals are good news, as the 2019 Church of England statistics for attendance show. 
“In COVID-19 dominated 2020 we have been learning how to be good news in a different way at Wakefield Cathedral, using the resources we are privileged to have to build an online community which we hope will bring comfort and joy to many people this Christmas.”

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