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Objects of Faith

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Join Canon Chris Collingwood and Head of Heritage Helen Rawson as they explore the cathedral’s historic Collection in a new series, Objects of Faith. Containing more than 300,000 objects and artefacts, the Minster’s Collection tells the story of the cathedral across 1,400 years, with many of the items still in use today.

Each week a new object linked to the season of Easter will be shared, which has been chosen specifically because it also speaks to the situation in which we currently find ourselves with Covid-19. These objects tell the story of the Christian faith – a story of love, courage and hope, and of light shining in darkness, a message we hope is helpful in these difficult times.

Monday 11th May

A Life of Service

This week’s object is a beautiful processional banner which depicts the crucifixion of Christ. Many objects in the Minster’s collection have been used within the cathedral for over one hundred years; this is one of those objects. Presented to the Dean and Chapter of York in 1916, the treatment and conservation of the banner tells the story of its active life in the cathedral. Listen to Helen and Chris explore the different layers of meaning within this vibrant and colourful banner.


Friday 17th April

Rising from the Ashes

VIDEO: On the night of 9 July 1984, fire devastated York Minster.  The evening had been hot and stormy, and lightning is thought to have struck, jumping from a conductor to an electric circuit, and starting a fire in the roof space.  As dawn broke, the extent of the damage became clear, with the whole roof of the South Transept destroyed by the blaze. Yet amidst the destruction, rising above the smouldering timbers, a symbol of hope. Scarcely damaged hung the figure of Christ on the Cross.


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