The dreadful fire in Notre Dame Cathedral produced an enormous emotional reaction. In secular Paris people knelt and sang the Ave Maria. Clearly Notre Dame holds a central place in people’s hearts. The impact on the French psyche was enormous, but no lives were lost. It seems almost certain that Notre Dame will be restored, despite the fact that France is a secular country and the Catholic Church is in decline. What is it about Cathedrals? Why do they play such an important role in national and civic life? And can it be morally right to spend such vast sums on restoration?
In this programme Ernie Rea discusses the significance of Cathedrals in the lives of modern cities with Becky Clark, Director of the Cathedral and Church Buildings Division of the Church of England, John Laurenson, a Paris based BBC journalist and the Rev Michael Smith, Canon of York Minster.
Producer: Catherine Earlam
The devastating fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris has raised fears for the Palace of Westminster which is facing a major renovation.
Peers have urged the Palace authorities to speed up the planned work and called for better fire prevention systems. David Cornock reports.
And you can hear more from Today in Parliament at 11.30pm on Radio 4 every weekday evening.