Four Weddings and a Funeral church to charge entrance fee

November 18th, 2007 - 3:55 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, Nov 18 (ANI): A London parish church has become the first cathedral to charge an entrance fee, because it is the same church where Hugh Grant’s character, Charles, in the film Four Weddings and a Funeral famously abandoned his bride after realising his real love was Andie MacDowell’s character Carrie.

Tills have been placed at the entrance of Saint Bartholomew the Great, which charges a fee of 4 pounds per head, with an option of annual pass of 30 pounds.

St Bart’s, which has also been used for Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves, Shakespeare in Love, The End of the Affair has introduced the charge to help pay its running costs and minor repairs.

The church says that it cannot rely on the income from filming to pay for its upkeep.

But critics say the move will disenfranchise a large section of the community, particularly students, and the elderly and less well off.

Writer Ian Hislop, who presented a Channel 4 series on the history of the Church of England, said that the move by the church was a great pity.

“It’s a great pity. St Bart’s has traditionally been somewhere you pop into and unfortunately this looks like another reason not to go to church the Telegraph quoted Hislop, as saying.

“Even the museums found it better not to charge an entrance fee in the end, he added.

St Bart’s Rector, the Reverend Martin Dudley, defended the entrance charge, saying: “We have doorkeepers who can differentiate between people who are praying and those who are there just to see the church, but I anticipate most people will pay regardless.

I’m afraid we don’t get support from elsewhere and we have to rely on whatever we can raise ourselves, he added. (ANI)

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