L'ro THE EDITOR OF THE "5PECTATOR:1
Srit,—All who care for this great church will be grateful to you for the prominence which you gave last week to its terrible plight and urgent needs. But those who have not seen the list of donations made towards saving it might gather from your article that the Ecclesiastical Commissioners have done nothing in the matter. When the trouble was first discovered, and its extent not yet gauged, the Dean and Chapter appealed for £20,000. To this the Commissioners gave £2,000, a tithe of the amount asked for, and one-sixth of the amount so far sub- scribed. It was only when the work had reached a certain point, and the foundations were examined by a diver, that the urgency and extent of the necessary repairs were realised, and the appeal for a further £60,000 made. There is, therefore, no reason to doubt that the Commission would be prepared to give farther substantial help. Although, as you say, they hold the Bishop's estates, there was, I believe, no commutation of the Dean and Chapter's property, which yields dwindled incomes to the Dean and Canons. It is hardly conceivable that the donations of other bodies and of private persons will not prevent the withdrawal from other good purposes of very large sums from the income of the Commission. When Selby Abbey was burnt, the response was ready and generous. One can hardly believe that the sensational fate of being burnt out in the night really appealed with much additional force. Winchester Cathedral appeals not only to every Churchman in the enormous and wealthy diocese, but also to every Englishman in or out of the diocese who cares for architecture or historical association. As a church, as a building, as a monument historique, it will surely find help on all sides. I should venture to suggest to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners that the course most suitable to all concerned would be that they should give, say, 21,000 a year so long as the work has to be continued.—I am, Sir, &c., W. V. C.