A reader who loves old English churches is scandalized to discover that the Peterborough Cathedral rents out its nave for private dinners and receptions.

A short history of the cathedral, from its website:

Peterborough Cathedral is one of the finest Norman cathedrals in England. Founded as a monastic community in 654 AD, it became one of the most significant medieval abbeys in the country, the burial place of two queens and the scene of Civil War upheavals.

Peterborough Cathedral’s history resonates nationally as well as locally. The origins of the Cathedral can be traced back to King Peada of the Middle Angles, son of King Penda of Mercia, who founded the first monastery on the site in 654 AD. The monastic settlement was almost entirely destroyed by the Vikings in 870 and rebuilt as a Benedictine Abbey between 960 and 970. The Abbey church then survived Hereward the Wake’s attack in 1069, and remained intact until an accidental fire destroyed it in 1116. It was rebuilt, largely in its present form, between 1118 and 1238, the Porch and the eastern end or ‘New Building’ being later additions. It became the Cathedral for the new Diocese of Peterborough in 1541 and it is formally known as the Cathedral Church of St Peter, St Paul and St Andrew, Peterborough.

As a building, it has suffered a somewhat troubled past, with significant damage during the Civil War in the mid-seventeenth century, but this is part of what gives our Cathedral such a rich and wonderful heritage, as well as its blend of diverse and interesting architecture, religious artefacts and stories.

And now it’s a reception hall. Sic transit gloria ecclesiae. An insurance company just had its shindig there the other night. Notice the lighting: