Letter: Cathedral vs rubber factory

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The Independent Online
Sir: I was interested - as everyone involved with the conservation of our heritage should be - in Jonathan Glancey's comments on the consultation document Protecting Our Heritage (28 May). He is a strong advocate of the need to respect modern architecture and, of course, he is right, always providing there is a sense of proportion.

"Any of us can say," he writes, "Oh yes, we must protect Peterborough Cathedral." We can say it, yes; but when faced with an incontrovertible and urgent need for over pounds 7m to achieve it, the relative judgement looks rather different.

This is one of the two greatest Norman churches in Europe, Durham surely being the other. The immense painted oak ceiling in the nave is unique. It was completed in 1220 and is deteriorating dangerously. We need pounds 2m to save that alone and that is but one of the seven essential rescue operations which we can only hope to complete given a generous and imaginative response from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Henry VIII described Peterborough as "the goodliest monument in all Christendom". Its claims upon the Heritage Fund must surely weigh against even the most magnificent rubber factory.

Sir STEPHEN HASTINGS

Chairman

Peterborough Cathedral Trust

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