The Church of England's cathedrals and church buildings are
places of worship that also make a substantial contribution to
the historic environment and heritage tourism.
- The Church of England is responsible for 16,200 parish churches
and 43 mainland cathedrals.
- 12,500 church buildings are listed. 45% of all
England's Grade I listed buildings are cathedrals and
- St Paul's and Canterbury cathedrals, Westminster Abbey and York
Minster are among the top 20 paid attractions.
- Durham Castle and Cathedral; Canterbury Cathedral,
St Augustine's Abbey and St Martin's Canterbury; and
Westminster Abbey and St Margaret's Westminster are World Heritage
- Cathedral visits alone are worth an estimated £91m to the local
economy and support 2,600 jobs.
- Approximately 15 million visits are made to those churches and
cathedrals regarded as "major tourist attractions" out of an
estimated 35-50 million visits made to churches each year
(excluding regular worshippers)
Few historic buildings are as easy to visit as a parish
church or cathedral and many buildings no longer used for
worship are kept open for visitors by charitable trusts. The
largest of these is the Churches Conservation Trust. Heritage Open
Days and the Ride and Stride weekend also provide excellent
opportunities to see historic places of worship.
The Churches Tourism Association is the UK's
leading body for promoting best practice in welcoming visitors to
places of worship and developing the tourism potential and
While for cathedrals, this central
list will give direct access to their individual sites.
If you would like to find out more about welcoming visitors to
your own church, click here to go to Churchcare.