From: John Jaques, Rue Jean Jaures, Izeaux, France.
As an expatriate Yorkshireman, I was pleased to visit York with a group of friends from overseas. I suggested we visit the Minster for a look inside.
It is not possible to access the nave without buying a ticket, which is perhaps reasonable given the beauty of the building. What was not reasonable was the price.
Everyone in my group thought £9 per head was an exorbitant sum of money and as a consequence we were reduced to walking round the outside.
There, we were disappointed to see a large banner on the building works proclaiming that the Minster was being supported by Lottery money. Why then the need for the high entry prices?
I wish to make a couple of points. First, visits to Notre Dame and Sacre Coeur in Paris involve no charge. The remarkable cathedral at Chartres is also free to enter. What makes York Minster so special?
Secondly, while in York we visited the National Railway Museum and had a thoroughly enjoyable time during a two-hour visit.
The museum is free to visit but, as donations were invited, we all gratefully donated £5 each. The lesson is clear; let the visitors decide what they can afford and how much is appropriate. And if the visitors had wanted to pray? Would they really have to pay?
My knowledge of the scriptures isn’t what it was but wasn’t there a parable about casting the merchants from the temple? Isn’t that what needs to happen at the Minster?
I don’t think that the Minster’s entry policy is a good reflection on Christian values nor is it a satisfactory way of attracting tourists to the city of York.