Rosslyn Chapel already attracts visitors for many reasons but now it is hoped that there will be an increase in Japanese cat lovers after William, the Chapel Cat, has featured in Japan’s most popular cat magazine.
The February edition of the magazine, ‘Neko Biyori’, which translates as ‘a nice day for cats’, includes an article about church cats at Durham Cathedral, Wells Cathedral – and Rosslyn Chapel. The magazine is published 4 times a year and has an annual circulation of 120,000 copies. Rieko Ishii, who researched and wrote the article, was inspired to include William after a visitor wrote about him on a Japanese travel guide, similar to Trip Advisor, following a visit to Rosslyn Chapel.
William made the short trip from his home in the village, to visit Rosslyn Chapel, as a kitten and has been a regular visitor ever since. Now 15 years old, he has become a firm favourite with many of the thousands of people who visit the Chapel each year and has even inspired an area of the gift shop. Named after Sir William St Clair, who founded Rosslyn Chapel in 1446, William can often be found curled up on a pew in the medieval church.
Ian Gardner, Director of Rosslyn Chapel Trust, said: ‘Over the years, William has welcomed thousands of visitors and been around for hundreds of church services, weddings and funerals, throughout a major conservation project at the Chapel and during filming for the Chapel’s role in The Da Vinci Code. It’s amazing to see William now included in this magazine and we hope that he inspires more Japanese visitors to come and see the Chapel in future.’