York Minster made a loss again in 2022 – but the latest figures suggest the cathedral is bouncing back strongly from the financial devastation wrought by the pandemic.
The Minster’s annual report and accounts for the year ended 31 December have just been published.
They showed a net operating loss of £329,000. That’s a big improvement on the £805,000 deficit in 2021. A £2.3 million loss in 2020, the first year of Covid, led to questions about its future as a going concern and led to a programme of redundancies.
Income in 2022 was £9.738 million, up by £2.638 million on the previous year.
Almost 621,000 people visited the Minster last year compared to 266,000 in 2021 – an increase of 133%.
Visitor income rose by nearly 120%, from £1.76 million to £3.87 million. Retail income more than doubled, from £611,000 to £1.337 million.
However, expenditure also rose, from £7.9 million in 2021 to £10 million in 2022. This included £661,000 on major repairs to the cathedral, and a rise in cost of materials.
The death of the Queen also brought added costs.
“There was also £27,000 of expenditure relating to the period of official mourning for the late Queen Elizabeth II,” said the Chapter of York, the governing body for York Minster.
“However costs for education and outreach decreased by £44,000 due to the low level of school learning activities during the year.”
Stock market reverse
The volatility of the stock markets “due to the wider impacts of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine” saw the Minster lose £3.5 million on investments in 2022. The previous year, it had gained £3.2 million.
Dean of York the Very Rev Dominic Barrington described the latest accounts as an “impressive performance”.
“The deeply encouraging signs of economic recovery are due to Chapter’s careful oversight and stewardship of the Minster’s finances through those tough pandemic years.
“Ongoing economic volatility and turbulence around the world will require continuing caution and discipline in our financial management.”
He added: “However in 2022, York Minster came into its own as the cathedral for the Northern Province of the Church of England and the seat of the Archbishop of York as we welcomed thousands of visitors firstly to celebrate a the historic Platinum Jubilee and then to honour the remarkable life of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
“Designed and carved by stonemason Richard Bossons, the unveiling, last November, of her statue by her son, His Majesty King Charles III, marked the end of an historic and momentous year.”
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