Churches filling pews with secular music

Oct. 27, 2011 at 7:04 PM
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LONDON, Oct. 27 (UPI) -- Churches in Britain say they are filling pews by allowing concerts by modern performers ranging from big names like Adele to up-and-coming alternative rockers.

Artists say churches provide an appealing alternative to ordinary concert halls, the BBC reported Thursday.

"They're beautiful places and they've always had music in them. And also, they're losing money. They take a lot of money to maintain so it makes perfect sense," Emma-Lee Moss, who goes by the stage name Emmy the Great, told the BBC.

The BBC said Union Chapel in London blazed a trail for other British churches by hosting the group U2 and singers such as Adele and Noel Gallagher.

Manchester Cathedral has five concerts scheduled in the coming months.

"In these dire economic times, the additional income that we get makes a big difference and enables us to do our core mission, which is to serve the city and Greater Manchester," the Very Rev. Rogers Govender, the Dean of Manchester, said.

Govender said the concerts also attract young people who might not otherwise visit the cathedral.

"So when they come in for a music concert, they suddenly discover this great big gem of a building right in the heart of their city. Very often that prompts a further visit during ordinary time," he said.

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