Letter: No substitute for cathedral 'Friends'

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The Independent Online
Sir: Correspondence about funding repairs for cathedrals (letters, 29 December, 4 and 5 January) has not mentioned one indispensable source - cathedral Friends. Appeals for major projects - Wells' West Front, Salisbury's spire - cannot be repeated too often.

Visitors' contributions and the recent grants from English Heritage are important sources, but there is no substitute for the support, in money and many other ways, offered by Friends. The problem we all share is that there are not nearly enough of us. Wells, with its big cathedral attached to a small town, does better than most; we have in fact more members than Canterbury or York, but there is no room for complacency.

Jennifer Page of English Heritage (letter, 4 January) refers to the success of public appeals to local communities. I would add: 'Support your mother church by joining the cathedral Friends, thereby helping to secure regular and continuing support for the great work of safeguarding your cathedral for future generations.'

Yours faithfully,


The Friends of Wells Cathedral

Wells, Somerset

4 January