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Frequently asked Questions - About Us

Can I view the Cathedral's latest Report and Review of Accounts?

Yes, please see Salisbury Cathedral Report for 2013/14.

What are the Cathedral's plans for 2014-2015 and the longer term?

The Chapter of Salisbury Cathedral published its planned programme of work for 2014/15 and strategy for 2013-17 in May 2014. This document, the product of joint planning work by the Cathedral's Chapter and Senior Managers, sets out its objectives and priorities for the coming year and its areas of focus for the years beyond. 

What is the difference between the Catholic Church and the Church of England?

The Roman Catholic Church is headed by the Pope – the bishop of Rome. The Church of England separated from that Church 500 years ago and is headed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, with the Queen as Supreme Governor. The majority of its church buildings, its structure, and its beliefs were carried over from its Catholic inheritance, including the custom of dedicating churches to patron saints. So Salisbury Cathedral is properly known as ‘The Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary’.

What is a Cathedral and how is it different from a church?

A Cathedral is a church, and usually a very large one and regarded as the mother church of the diocese. It has certain special functions which distinguish it from most other churches, in particular because it is the base for the bishop of the diocese, whose special seat – or ‘cathedra’ – is there. So while cathedrals have their own regular congregations, they also play host to many special services and events which mark out the life of the diocese and region.

How can I look up records on my ancestors?

The Cathedral archive only holds records of people baptised, married or buried in the Cathedral. We advise you to contact the Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Cocklebury Road, Chippenham SN15 3QN. Tel: 01249 705500  or Salisbury City Library, Tel: 01722 330606. 

What are the Friends of Salisbury Cathedral and how can I become a Friend?

The Friends help fund important projects in Salisbury Cathedral, and rely entirely on subscriptions, donations, bequests and income from investments to fulfill their objectives. The scale of the projects they support depends on a continuous response by Friends – and so new members are always welcome to support this work. Since their foundation in 1930, the Friends have funded projects totalling over £3,000,000. Their purpose is the same now as it was then, to do all they can to preserve this wonderful building and its fellowship.

To join the Friends of Salisbury Cathedral please email: friends@salcath.co.uk , or call 01722 335161 / 555190.