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National Cathedral in DC to charge fee to tourists

WASHINGTON (AP) – Struggling to cover its costs, officials at Washington National Cathedral say they’ve decided to begin charging admission fees for tourists who visit the church beginning in 2014.

The fee will be $10 for adults and $6 for children, seniors and military. Admission will be free on Sundays and for those who visit to worship or pray on weekdays.

The Rev. Gary Hall is the cathedral’s dean, and he says the church will charge for tourism but not for essential services. He says the decision to charge was made reluctantly. But he notes that cathedrals in Europe charge fees to help fund their upkeep.

The National Cathedral is working to raise funds to repair earthquake damages from 2011 totaling $26 million. The church still must raise $19 million for repairs.

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