Although cathedrals represent arguably the greatest contribution to our architectural heritage there is no legislation which controls measures to protect them from fire. Since the major fire at York Minster in 1984 the many cathedral authorities have undertaken varying amounts of work to prevent a similar tragedy, but there remain unprotected cathedrals and no consensus on further progress. Addresses the complex nature of cathedral buildings in fire safety terms along with the conflict inherent in introducing modern protective measures in structures of enormous historic and aesthetic quality. Examines data held by the leading insurer of cathedrals in England and Wales, the Ecclesiastical Insurance Group, and sets it alongside the authors′ own research to reveal a picture of great variation in methods and measures of fire protection, and a sense of the changes which are underway or can be expected in coming years. At a time when grant aid for English cathedrals has become available and may soon be extended to cover fire safety measures, provides timely information on financial issues, technical difficulties and fire management policies which lie at the centre of debate, and considers some of the issues which must be addressed.