King’s ransom to be guest at Richard’s funeral

From: Mary McKenzie, Zetland Square, Sunderland

I AM appalled to discover that Leicester Cathedral, as part of their King Richard III Appeal, have raised £100,000 by selling seats at a private service of reception for £2,500 each.

In exchange for a “donation” of £2,500, guests will be invited to a prestigious and unique service next March at which Richard III’s coffined remains will be brought into the cathedral.

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This service of reception marks the beginning of the cathedral’s week-long interment programme, culminating in the burial of Richard III on Thursday, March 26. While invitations to the various services will be made by the Dean, it is clear that an invitation to this particular service depends on a prior payment of £2,500.

The “Benefactor Opportunity” letter is carefully worded to obscure the fact that it amounts to nothing less than a bribe – the sale of tickets to attend a church service at which the remains of an anointed King of England will be present. It is an elitist method of raising cash that draws a line between rich and poor, discriminating against those who cannot afford to pay £2,500.

When one considers the great many people desperate to pay their respects to Richard, it is surely unethical and indefensible that the wealthy are singled out for preferential treatment.