chapter  1
The cathedral church: foundation, form and function
ByNorman Doe
Pages 26

The cathedrals of the Church of England have a unique and widely admired position in terms of their architectural magnificence, aesthetic appeal, and historical significance. Cathedrals also have considerable economic and social impact. This chapter examines the classification of cathedrals, the purposes of a cathedral church, and the variety of legal instruments which seek to regulate the public life and activities of cathedrals. Today, each cathedral sits within the wider legal environment of the organisational structures of the Church of England. After the break with Rome at the Reformation, a new institutional church, the Church of England, was 'established by law' through a series of Acts of Parliament; and the 'relationship which the state has with the Church of England is one of recognition, not one of the devolution to it of any of the powers or functions of government'. The cathedral interviews indicate various approaches to the value of statements of cathedral objects.