End of an era as Lincoln Cathedral Centre set to close

Lincoln Cathedral Centre will close in its current form from the end of the financial year after “the very painful decision” was taken by the Chapter and the board.

The centre has been relying on the “dedication of a skeleton staff” in recent months and will work with them to look at options.

The centre, located in the 13th century building on Minster Yard in Lincoln, was taken over by the Cathedral around 15 years ago.

It hosts conferences and meetings, as well as retirement and birthday parties. The venue also holds coroner’s inquests.

The venue will honour a number of future bookings and the centre will be available wherever possible for internal use by Cathedral groups and meetings.

A statement from Lincoln Cathedral said: “The centre has been a beautiful and popular asset to the Cathedral since it was opened around 15 years ago, and remains a jewel in the Cathedral close.

“Over the years, the Cathedral Centre has continually adapted and changed to be the best it can be, and to serve the community and other organisations by offering excellent hospitality.

“That, however, has taken a huge amount of dedication and skill from the team of staff and volunteers for a return to the Cathedral which, at best, over the years, has been marginal.

“The Chapter, and the board of Lincoln Minster Shops (which runs the Cathedral’s commercial activities), have kept the centre under review for some time.

The end of an era. A view from the garden of the Cathedral Centre. Photo: Emily Norton for The Lincolnite

“A professional review was commissioned last year to understand the possibilities for the centre once the Old Deanery Visitor Centre opens as part of the Connected project in early 2020.

“The Chapter and the board have taken the very painful decision to close the centre in its current form from the end of this financial year.

The secret garden at the centre. Photo: Lincoln Cathedral Centre Twitter

“That doesn’t mean that activity will stop – we are honouring a number of bookings, and will continue to make the centre available wherever possible for internal use by Cathedral groups and meetings while we assess the best and most sustainable use and value to the Cathedral of the building.

“This announcement is especially difficult, as the centre has been relying on the dedication of a skeleton staff in recent months while reviews were undertaken, and we are now working with those staff to look at the options.

“We are doing all we can to support the staff, and we keep all those for whom this is an uncertain time in our prayers.”