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Handel’s Messiah

Experience George Frideric Handel’s glorious Messiah performed by the Choir of York Minster in the cathedral’s awe-inspiring Nave, alongside an accomplished orchestra and world-renowned soloists.

From the sorrowful tones of He Was Despised to the jubilant culmination of God’s triumph in the Hallelujah chorus, Handel’s Messiah explores the Passion, Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ through spectacular choral and orchestral music.

Powerful choruses with soaring harmonies crash over the audience whilst the moving and poignant soloist pieces narrate the great story of Easter.

The famous work was first performed in Dublin in 1742 and has since become one of the best-known and most popular English oratorios. 2023 saw the spectacular return of the moving and poignant choral performance to York Minster during the season of Lent and Easter.

Tickets for the Front and Rear Nave (allocated seating) can now be booked HERE. Tickets for the Nave Side Aisles (unallocated seating) can now be booked HERE. Tickets can also be booked by calling 01904 557200.

 

Prices:

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Advent and Christmas services with British Sign Language interpretation

This year, for the first time, York Minster is excited to be providing British Sign Language for a number of services throughout the Advent and Christmas season. The following services will feature BSL interpretation:

Advent Procession, Sunday 3 December, 5.30pm

Join York Minster’s worship to mark the start of Advent with an atmospheric and breath-taking candlelit service of music, readings and prayers for Advent, in celebration and anticipation of the arrival of Jesus Christ, the Light of the World.

Crib Service, Saturday 23 December, 11.30am 

BSL interpretation available in-person. 

Hear the Christmas story in a fun and accessible service for families with carols and musical accompaniment. Children are encouraged to dress up as characters from the Nativity and there will be a chance to see the crib.

Find out more.

 

Nine Lessons and Carols, Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 December, 4pm 

BSL interpretation available in-person on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 December. BSL interpretation available online via livestream on Sunday 24 December. 

Two services consisting of nine special readings, carols sung by the Choir of York Minster and hymns for everyone to join in. A traditional Christmas celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.

Find out more.

 

If you would like to attend one of these services in-person, please email boxoffice@yorkminster.org or call 01904 557200 to book a free ticket.

 

If you have any feedback that could help us improve access and inclusivity at York Minster, please email access@yorkminster.org. We would love to hear from you.

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Peter and the Wolf

Join brave young Peter as he overcomes his fear of a big bad wolf in Sergei Prokofiev’s classic Peter and the Wolf played on York Minster’s recently-refurbished Grand Organ.

Hear captivating instrumental characterisations of Peter’s animal friends as a live feed of the cathedral’s marvellous organ being played by Ben Morris, Assistant Director of Music at York Minster, is shown on screens to the audience. Using special stops on the organ, Ben will guide young listeners through the sounds of this magnificent instrument. The performance will be narrated by Stuart Perry, the Silly History Boys’ silliest boy.

Prokofiev’s familiar and accessible composition is the perfect introduction to classical music. During the performance, children are encouraged to move and sit on cushions and rugs at the front of the Nave to get the best possible view of the organ.

The performance will take place on Tuesday 13 February and will last approximately one hour. Children are encouraged to bring a toy with them and are welcome to come dressed in their pyjamas ready for bed, but remember to wrap up warm! A buggy park will be available.

Tickets for the family concert are now on sale HERE or by calling our Bookings Team on 01904 557200. Tickets cost £8 for an adult and £6 for a child. A family ticket of £22 for two adults and two children is also available. Children over the age of two need their own seat.

The performance is recommended for ages 5 to 95!

 

Organist and narrator details:

Dr Benjamin Morris, organist

Benjamin Morris is Assistant Director of Music at York Minster. In this role, he plays for services and accompanies the choir in the Minster’s daily cycle of music, in concerts, tours, recordings and broadcasts, and assists in the training of the boy and girl choristers.

Prior to this, he was Organ Scholar and then Assistant Organist at Jesus College, Cambridge, graduating with First-class honours in Music. Before starting university, Ben spent a year as Organ Scholar at Gloucester Cathedral.

With recent venues including Sage Gateshead, Selby Abbey, Leeds Town Hall and Westminster Cathedral, Ben is active as a soloist for recitals and other performances. He has performed as organ soloist under Sir Roger Norrington, Howard Shelley, Paul McCreesh, and Sir Stephen Cleobury, and has played organ and harpsichord continuo alongside His Majestys Sagbutts and Cornetts, The Saraband Consort and Britten Sinfonia. He is a prizewinning Fellow of the Royal College of Organists.

 

Stuart Perry, narrator  

Stuart Perry trained at Bretton Hall earning his BA (Hons) in Theatre Acting. He is an accomplished singer and actor with a specialism in theatrical combat.

Stuart can now be seen travelling around the country with the Silly History Boys, a comedy history troupe that Stuart co-created. His storytelling and character work can be found on their ‘Silly History Boys Show’ podcast. Available for free on all good podcast platforms.

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Vigil for peace in Israel and Gaza

Join us for a night of reflection and contemplation as religious, political and civic leaders from across York come together for a vigil to call for peace and an end to the conflict in Israel and Gaza.

The vigil will begin with a welcome and address from the Very Reverend Dominic Barrington, Dean of York, before reflections are shared by political, civic and religious leaders from across the city.

There will be a period of silence before members of the public are invited to write their thoughts and prayers onto provided pieces of white paper which will be placed on the cathedral’s altar platform to form a large white peace dove.

Candles will be lit at the end of the vigil as we continue to hold in our hearts the suffering of all those affected by the conflict.

The vigil will take place in the cathedral’s nave starting at 6.30pm and will last approximately an hour.

All are welcome, no booking is required.

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Treasures: Yorkshire’s People and Parishes

Discover silver, gold and diamonds in a new exhibition that showcases treasures of Yorkshire that have survived religious turmoil, fire, and war.

The exhibition offers a fascinating glimpse into Yorkshire life with cherished pieces from across the North coming together to form one celebratory narrative. The objects are proudly local but tell national and global stories as the exhibition travels across counties and through parishes, charting changing cultures and traditions in churches.

See a glorious silver gilt chalice, set with a magnificent 32 carat diamond which was given to York Minster by accomplished equestrienne Lily Forepaugh. The dramatic damage to the pages of a fourteenth century cartulary, alleged to have been caused by the impact of a cannon ball, is a must-see.

Amongst the treasures are a beautiful Communion cup and cover from York church St-Michael-Le-Belfrey, the Mercier chalice, set with an amethyst ring: a powerful symbol of friendship and reunion, and a book gifted by King James I.  A pair of seventeenth century enamelled brass candlesticks, the only other pair of its kind resides in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, are beautifully decorated with flowers and scrolling foliage on a background of black and white champleve enamel.

Explore the crucial roles women play in shaping, using, and creating our collections as owners, publishers, patrons, and makers. A selection of books belonging to Yorkshire woman Margaret Hoby, considered to be the first English diarist, demonstrates this vital legacy and will be on rotation in the exhibition.

Running until February 2025, Treasures: Yorkshire’s People and Parishes is on display in the cathedral’s historic Treasury.

Entrance to the exhibition is included in general admission. The exhibition is open during standard visiting hours.

York Minster has a living collection which includes objects that are still used in the cathedral today. If you are making a special journey to see a specific object, please do contact us so we can check whether or not it will be on display. 

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The York Minster Christmas Tree Festival

Experience the popular York Minster Christmas Tree Festival, set inside the medieval Minster, with 60 trees on display in the cathedral’s stunning Nave, Chapter House and Lady Chapel.

Explore the trees, which will be decorated to individual themes by local businesses, schools and charities, vote for your favourite in our ‘best dressed tree’ competition, and add your own Christmas message to a tag on the festival’s prayer trees.

The festival will open on Saturday 2 December at 10am and will run during general admission times until Friday 5 January. Entry is free with general admission.

Visitors can also follow our Christmas Quest  to spot trees and their decorations around the cathedral.

Please note, the trees may feature flashing lights.

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Advent Procession – FULLY BOOKED

Free, in-person tickets for the Advent Procession are now FULLY BOOKED. Please join us online for this special service. 

Join York Minster’s worship to mark the start of Advent with an atmospheric and breath-taking candlelit service of music, readings and prayers for Advent, in celebration and anticipation of the arrival of Jesus Christ, the Light of the World.

The service, which will include music from the Choir of York Minster, starts in darkness before a single flame is used to spread light through the cathedral, with candles held by each member of the congregation.

The service will be livestreamed via our YouTube channel and this page so you can enjoy the service from the comfort of your own home. Our 11am Advent Sunday service will also be livestreamed on this date.

 

We kindly ask that if you have booked tickets and cannot attend the service, to please return them so others can enjoy the Advent Procession. You can do this by contacting our Bookings Team on 01904 557200.

Doors will open at 4.30pm. You must have a pre-booked ticket to attend this service in-person.

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Nine Lessons and Carols – FULLY BOOKED

Free tickets for both services are now FULLY BOOKED. 

 

Two services consisting of nine special readings, carols sung by the Choir of York Minster and hymns for everyone to join in. A traditional Christmas celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.

Free tickets must be booked in advance for both services.

A maximum of four tickets can be reserved with each booking, children over the age of two need their own seat.

Tickets are valid for the specified service only. We kindly ask that if you have booked tickets and cannot attend the service, to please return them so others can enjoy the services of Nine Lessons and Carols. You can do this by contacting our Bookings Team on 01904 557200.

 

This year, for the first time, York Minster is excited to be providing British Sign Language interpretation for these services. If you would like to attend one of these services in-person, please email boxoffice@yorkminster.org or call 01904 557200 to book a free ticket.

 

Doors will open at 3pm.

The service on Sunday 24 December at 4pm will also be livestreamed via our YouTube channel and this page so you can enjoy the service from the comfort of your own home.

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Summer Holidays at York Minster

Discover York Minster this summer with exciting events and activities for young explorers!

 

Open air theatre in Dean’s Park

Friday 23 June, Sunday 25 June, Friday 15 September & Saturday 16 September, 7.30pm

Rushed off their feet with musical instruments in hand, a hapless troupe of actors is coming to Dean’s Park with endless costume changes, chaotic comedies and confusion.

The Three Inch Fools will be performing legendary folktale Robin Hood and Shakespeare’s most chaotic comedy As You Like It.

Find out more and book your tickets here.

 

Luna Cinema in Dean’s Park

Tuesday 29 August, Wednesday 30 August & Thursday 31 August, 8pm 

The UK’s leading open-air cinema is returning to York Minster’s Dean’s Park with a line-up of all the latest blockbusters, alongside classic feel-good favourites on the big screen.

See Elvis, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and Sister Act against the beautiful backdrop of the medieval Minster.

Find out more and book your tickets here.

 

Majesty: Monarchy and York Minster 

Show off your best royal wave as you pose for a majestic photograph with a soft-toy corgi in our new exhibition celebrating York Minster’s royal collections and connections. Visitors can also try on regal robes and bear a crown and sceptre before adding your wishes for the Coronation year to a special crown-shaped tag.

Entrance to the exhibition is free with general admission, find out more here.

 

Try our new trails 

Look for shapes, patterns, colours and creatures as you journey around York Minster on our brand-new trails: Maths Quest, Light Quest and Nature Quest. Perfect to keep little brains busy over the holidays!

Collect your free trail maps from our Welcome Desks or download using the links here.

 

Free nature tours 

Wednesdays 26 July to 30 August

Has your child got the nature bug? Join our Learning and Gardening teams on Wednesdays throughout the summer holidays for free nature tours in Dean’s Park. Identify leaves and flowers in our sensory garden, find out how we are helping hedgehogs and listen out for our resident Peregrine Falcons.

There will also be an opportunity to meet the teams from Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and the RSPB. Sessions will take place at 10am and 2pm, last an hour and are free to attend. Children must be accompanied by their parents/carers. No booking is required. Sessions are weather permitting.

 

Little Explorer Backpacks

Our Little Explorer Backpacks are filled with gadgets including maps, binoculars, and a magnifying glass to help your young adventurer explore the medieval Minster.

Free with general admission.

 

Undercroft Museum 

Follow in the footsteps of Roman soldiers as you discover 2000 years of history in our state-of-the-art Undercroft Museum. Delve beneath the cathedral’s floor and see archaeological finds from across the centuries through digital displays and interactive chambers.

Free with general admission.

 

Explore our green spaces

Relax in Dean’s Park, Minster Gardens or College Green and take in these vibrant green spaces nestled in the heart of York.

Find out more here.

 

General admission is free for York residents and students with valid proof of a York address. Don’t forget that up to four children aged 17 and under go free with a paying adult. 

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Majesty: Monarchy and York Minster

Discover York Minster’s royal connections and collections through an exhibition exploring the cathedral’s centuries-old relationship with the monarchy in celebration of the Coronation of King Charles III.

The influence of the monarchy can be traced throughout York Minster’s history. From the humble baptism of King Edwin of Northumbria on Easter Day in 627 in a small wooden church built hastily for the service – the first York Minster, to HM King Charles III’s poignant return in November 2022 to unveil a statue of his late mother, Queen Elizabeth II. Explore these royal events and how they have shaped life and worship at York Minster over the centuries.

See a Minster Police truncheon emblazoned with royal arms, Maundy Money distributed by Queen Elizabeth II during her last visit to York Minster in 2012 and the Great Seal of Queen Anne used to authenticate important documents. Other highlights include Chinese silk gifted to Queen Victoria on her wedding day and a Victorian fire bucket with a royal crest.

Visitors can also try on regal robes, bear a crown and sceptre, and pose for a majestic photograph showing off their best royal wave with a soft-toy corgi, before adding their wishes for the Coronation year to a special crown-shaped tag.

The exhibition, which takes place in the cathedral’s Treasury, will run until Sunday 1 October.

Entrance to the exhibition is free with general admission – book your timed entry ticket here.

 

York Minster has a living collection which includes objects that are still used in the cathedral today. If you are making a special journey to see a specific object, please do contact us so we can check whether or not it will be on exhibition.

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