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Cathedral income came from many corners

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I should like to comment on your editorial (AJ 14.9.00) where you say that building cathedrals was made viable 'only by forcing the populace to hand over one tenth of its income to the church'. The medieval church had sources of income other than tithes. There were pilgrims' offerings, which helped to rebuild Canterbury. Many bishops and abbots controlled vast estates which brought in large revenues; some, like the bishop of Salisbury, founded successful cities which brought them further profits. Cathedrals were built to the glory of God, the saints, the Church as an institution, the bishops and other individuals concerned, not necessarily in that order.

David Lloyd, Harlow, Essex

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