(ENI) Campers in U.K. shun beaches for work on ancient cathedrals

While many young people in the U.K. are gearing up for a summer of backpacking or the beach, one group is choosing to stay home and spend their holidays in a more unusual way — doing voluntary conservation work in ancient cathedrals, chapels and churches.

Cathedral Camps, run by the U.K. charity Community Service Volunteers, is seeing about 150 young people from ages 16 to 25 painting walls, polishing spires, ringing bells, surveying tombstones and cleaning graveyards during the day and sleeping overnight in gardens, presbyteries or cloisters.

“The experience is a chance to see the hidden corners of some of the nation’s most iconic religious buildings in England, Scotland and Wales,” said Hannah Foxon, a seasoned camper. “It’s also a great way to meet new people and learn new skills. Most volunteers come away with the feeling of great pride, success and achievement. This is my fourth year and fifth camp as a leader for CSV Cathedral Camps, and each camp I have attended has been totally different.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Religion & Culture

3 comments on “(ENI) Campers in U.K. shun beaches for work on ancient cathedrals

  1. Teatime2 says:

    That’s really cool! Good for them! I hope clergy and other church leaders interact regularly with the young people to answer questions and inspire faith, as well.

  2. MichaelA says:

    This highlights a looming problem for the UK government: Its cathedrals and old churches are a point of pride for the whole country, and an important element in the UK’s very lucrative tourism industry. The UK government has got a “free ride” on these tourism assets for a long time, because the Church pays for their upkeep while UK society reaps the benefits of their tourist value.

    But in recent years, the liberal bent of the CofE has been driving away parishioners, especially the sort (committed evangelicals and anglo-catholics) who contribute the most in tithes. CofE no longer has the income to maintain these buildings. If this goes on, the government is going to have to dip into the public purse to maintain them, or face growing wrath from various constituencies. Time for David Cameron to rethink his foolish push for an ultra-liberal Church of England.

  3. Cennydd13 says:

    I’m glad to see this happening, and I assume this will include some of the churches and cathedrals in Wales as well.