Bunhill: St Paul's for hire

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IT DID NOT, you will be glad to hear, cost the Bank of England an arm and a leg to hire St Paul's for its 300th anniversary last week. According to Brigadier Bob Ackford, the cathedral registrar, the feefor a special service varies from a mere pounds 5,000 to pounds 8,000, plus choir. Bringing a special group along for Evensong comes cheaper.

In theory any 'national' organisation celebrating a centenary can apply for a special service - the four or five clients in the past year have included the Girls' Brigade and Marlborough College. But the Brigadier is clearly politically sensitive. The Freemasons, in the form of the Grand Lodge of Great Britain, were considered too controversial an organisation and were only allowed in for Evensong. Pity. They could have played Mozart's The Magic Flute.

(Photograph omitted)