12 APRIL 1935, Page 19


[To the Editor of THE SPECTATOR.]

SIR,—Janus writes in " A Spectator's Notebook," in your issue of April 5th, that he found the doors of Hereford Cathedral- locked on a recent Sunday afternoon. " So it always is," he is told (he hopes inaccurately). He reds inaccurately told. It is not always so. In the summer months, with the assistance of a large band of volunteer stewards, we keep the Cathedral open to visitors on Sunday afternoons. We begin about or before Easter, and carry on to the middle of October. Next Sunday will be the' first Sunday of this summer. Our staff of one verger and two sextons have long hours through the week and on Sunday. Does Janus grudge them a free time from one o'clock to six o'clock on Sundays ? In the winter months- there art very few visitors, and the Cathedral is dark for many weeks after three o'clock. It would not be reasonable 'either to employ' the regular staff or to ask the services of my very kind friends, the volunteer Sunday stewards, for the few hours of daylight, and the very few visitors who might avail themselves of those hours, in the winter months. I am sorry that .anyone should be disappointed. But, all things considered, I think that our practice is not more unreasonable than the complaint raised against it.—I am, Sir, yours

[Janus writes : I am very glad to have elicited the Dean of Hereford's courteous letter. The practical difficulties men- tioned by the Dean are, no doubt, serious—but I cannot help feeling, all the same, that. Sunday is the one day in the week when a Cathedral ought not to be shut.