Opening hours will be extended during Summer evenings

An additional 6,000 euros was allocated last week to cover the cost of extending the opening hours at a number of churches to cater for visiting tourists in Orihuela, the Santas Justa and Rufina, the Iglesia Santiago and the church of the Virgen of Monserrate.

Opening hours which will in future meet the needs of the Department of Tourism will be from 10.30 to 13.30 and from 17.00 to 19.00hrs during the winter months set while during the summer period the morning timings will remain the same but the hours will be extended in the evenings until 20.00 hours. As a result of the additional income the two churches will not charge any supplementary fees for municipal activities but the City Council will be required to provide at least two days notice in advance when they require to hold an event.

The agreement, which was passed by the Governing Board last week includes a number of points made by the diocese, including an arrangement to host cultural events and guided tours organized by the town for which they may not charge any entry to those attending.

In coming to the understanding with the council the Diocese reserves the right to deny the use of these buildings at its discretion should the use be contrary to the principles of the Catholic Church or detract from the sacredness of the site. Although this has never happened so far they would include activities such as concerts.

The Councillor for Culture and Tourism, Rosa Martínez, said that the City has no problem in accepting this clause together with a number of other points made by the diocese and that the agreement has now been signed to the satisfaction of both parties.

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