As a result of “generous donations”, Coventry Cathedral has made the decision to return to a free admissions policy for visitors.
The cathedral introduced entrance charges in 2010, such as a £6 adult entrance fee, because donations were “simply not enough”.
The cathedral, which is built next to the bombed ruins of the old site, has been aiming to return to free entry for many years.
In the last few years, the cathedral’s financial position has been brought under tight control. The launch of the Investors in Hope fundraising campaign alongside collaboration with the Diocese of Coventry has made the change to entrance fees possible.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said the cathedral and the diocese were collaborating to “make sure the day-to-day costs are met.”
While it has been able to scrap its fees due to the “generous support of donors” visitors can still make donations.
The announcement was made at the diocese’s Centenary Festival which took place on the Saturday of the Bank Holiday weekend.
The current St Michael’s Cathedral is the third cathedral in the city of Coventry’s history. St Mary’s Priory and Cathedral, the original cathedral in Coventry, was destroyed during Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 16th century.
St. Michael’s Parish church was then elevated to cathedral status in 1918 with the creation of the diocese of Coventry but the building was left in ruin after the Coventry Blitz in 1940.
After the Luftwaffe’s attack on the city on 14 November 1940, all that remained of the cathedral was its tower, spire, the outer wall and the bronze effigy and tomb of its first bishop.
Designed by Sir Basil Spence and some of the leading artists and architects of the day, the new cathedral stands alongside the ruins of the old St Michael’s Cathedral as a symbol of peace and reconciliation.
Mr Welby, who served for 15 years as a canon and sub-dean in the city and is officiating at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle this month, said that although the cathedral was no longer “that well known” in the UK, its “unique message” was known around the world, particularly in war zones.
Speaking about the new free admissions policy, the Dean of Coventry, Reverend John Witcombe, told Premier: “We want to take down any barriers to people coming in and enjoying our extraordinary building and being caught up in the message that it represents.”