Outrage was sparked after Peterborough Cathedral hosted a BMW car show in its building.
Tens of thousands of pounds worth of brand new top range cars flooded the 900-year-old building on Thursday night with the promotional event thought to earn the cathedral a four figure sum.
The sight of the latest BMW 5 Series and the Mini Countryman parked on the historic sight caused horror among local churchgoers with one, Greg Briers, telling the Peterborough Telegraph: 'This is a place of worship not a car showroom.'
Claire Lupin wrote on the cathedral's Facebook page: "I know the cathedral will benefit greatly from the money they receive for this but it's rather gross. Have you considered sponsorship? Coca-Cola maybe? Or a Subway in the cloisters?"
Naomi Baciu added: "I went to the cathedral today and was really shocked and saddened... As for thinking more people will go into the cathedral, I made a very quick exit as I felt it was so wrong."
But the cathedral justified the decision and said it was about 'welcoming people'.
A spokesman wrote on their Facebook page: 'Large numbers of guests will be here this evening and some of these will be people who would never otherwise set foot in the building.
'They can enjoy this beautiful, sacred space, maybe go on a tower tour and hear the cathedral choir sing, as well as look at the cars. We hope they have a very enjoyable evening and leave wanting to come back again soon.'