Budget Cuts Hit National Cathedral… Again

Troubled economy forces new round of layoffs, reductions

The troubled economy is forcing new budget cuts at Washington's venerable National Cathedral.

Forty-one workers at the century-old church on Wisconsin Avenue will lose their jobs in the coming months.  Thirty-three workers were laid off in May.

The new belt-tightening will reduce the cathedral budget for this fiscal year by 40 percent.  Historic programs are being halted or reduced, and a residential program for visiting preachers will be suspended.

The church serves as the cathedral for the Episcopal Diocese of Washington but it does not does not receive funding from the Diocese or the National Episcopal Church, nor does it receive government funding. Many visitors do not realize the National Cathedral relies solely on contributions to continue operations, officials said.

The soaring stone cathedral is a local and national landmark.  It is the second largest cathedral in the nation and the sixth largest cathedral in the world.  Three presidential funerals have taken place within its confines, and almost 700,000 visitors and worshipers are welcomed into the cathedral each year.

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