DURHAM Cathedral has defended its decision to allow a shoot-out scene to be filmed inside the building.
The end scenes of the latest series of BBC One drama George Gently featured the cathedral in a showdown between its lead actor, played by Martin Shaw, and an adversary in a story about gangsters and police corruption.
Choristers were seen fleeing as the gunfire began and characters were hit.
The programme, watched by about 4.3million viewers, has attracted criticism since it was aired on Sunday night for being violent and against what cathedrals stand for as a sacred place.
However, the Chapter of Durham Cathedral has said it gave substantial thought and sought the advice of The Bishop of Durham, The Right Reverend Justin Welby, before making the decision to allow filming to go ahead.
It has said the tale reflected the cathedral’s history of being a place of sanctuary and brutality and it was a story of morality, where it was clear the perpetrator of violence was bad and good and evil were identified.
A spokesman said: “A cathedral should be a place where issues of justice and morality can be explored both through formal worship and through culture and the performing arts.”