the expense of the Millennium Dome and concentrate on their input into the Spirit Zone, the project's religious exhibition, a consultant to the Dome told the Catholic Herald this week.
The consultant, a leading churchman who would not be named, said that the opposition to the Dome expressed last month in a Catholic Herald poll of bishops could alienate the Churches from the project, which will go ahead with or without their support. "Let's make the most of it," he said.
Dome supremo Peter Mandelson reassured Church leaders and representatives of other faiths at a meeting on Monday that the Spirit Zone exhibition would go ahead. The Minister without Portfolio said:. "This is a Christian celebration. It has to marked as such."
The Rev Stephen Lynas, Churches' Millennium Officer for Churches Together in England, said that the Zone promises to be "quite spectacular". It will be housed in a glass tent and will have water running beneath a glass floor.
While it is hoped that some £2 million can be raised to boost spending on the interfaith Zone, religious consultants have privately expressed doubts. "I can't see spirit being on top of the shopping list of sponsors," said one.
Further talks are to be arranged to discuss the content of the Zone.