Joy at York Minster as former Choristers make the semi-finals of the BBC Young Chorister of the Year contest
Two former York Minster choristers have reached the semi-finals of the prestigious BBC Young Chorister of the Year contest 2022.
Samuel Brophy aged 13, a chorister from 2018 until 2022, will perform in the boy’s semi-final this Sunday 27th November. Naomi Simon, aged 16, a chorister from 2016 until 2020, will perform in the girl’s semi-final on Sunday 4th December. Both semi-finals will take place at Gorton Monastery, Manchester and will be broadcast by the BBC. Sam and Naomi hope to make the national finals which will be broadcast on BBC Two on Sunday 11th December.
Canon Victoria Johnson, Precentor at York Minster said: “We are delighted to learn that both of our former choristers, Naomi and Sam, have got through to the semi-finals of the BBC Young Chorister of the Year contest this year. The contest is tough and demanding but it is also a wonderful and potentially life-changing experience for these young singers.”
Sam is now a student at Bootham School, York, whilst Naomi is a student and chorister at Rugby School. Canon Vicky said: “There is quite a history of York Minster choristers doing very well in this competition and we are obviously very, very proud of Naomi and Sam’s achievement. Our prayers and best wishes go to both of them for the semi-finals.”
Welcome to Advent and Christmas at York Minster
York Minster is preparing to mark Advent and Christmas with traditional services, seasonal concerts and music and family-friendly events throughout December.
A time of busyness, anticipation and hope, the services, music and events at York Minster reflect the joy and poignancy of the Christmas story.
For the Very Revd Dominic Barrington, this will be his first experience of Advent and Christmas at York Minster since his installation as the 77th Dean of York last month. Dominic said: “At this very special time of year, we reflect on the heart-stopping vulnerability of the Holy family seeking a safe place for the birth of Jesus Christ. I look forward to welcoming you to York Minster – in person or from home via livestream – to celebrate the miracle and joy of Jesus’s birth.”
York Minster’s Advent and Christmas highlights are set out below (for full details go to www.yorkminster.org or telephone 01904 557200.)
Sunday 27 November, Advent Procession, 5.30pm
An atmospheric and breath-taking candlelit service of music, and prayers for Advent, in celebration of the arrival of Jesus Christ, the Light of the World. This service will also be livestreamed. (Free tickets required.)
Friday 2 December, Sankta Lucia: Festival of Light, 7.30pm
An atmospheric, candlelit procession and carol service for all the family based on the traditional Swedish Lucia celebration (York Anglo-Scandinavian Society).
Saturday 3 December, Saturday Mornings at York Minster, 10.00am
Mark the opening of the York Minster Christmas Tree Festival with craft activities and a short service for all the family.
Saturday 3 December, the York Minster Christmas Tree Festival (until 5 January 2023)
Explore Christmas trees beautifully decorated to individual themes in the stunning Chapter House and the Lady Chapel. Free with general admission.
Saturday 3 December, Praetorius and Schütze with Gabrieli Roar, 7.30pm
School students will join Gabrieli Roar’s world-class musicians to present ‘In Dulci Jubilo’, a festive celebration of the spectacular music of Michael Praetorius and Heinrich Schütz.
Thursday 8 and Friday 9 December, Christmas Carol Concerts, 7.00pm
The Revd Richard Coles, author, broadcaster and presenter, is the reader for this year’s concerts featuring festive carols, readings and poetry. Music by the Choir of York Minster.
Saturday 10 December, The Snowman (by Carrot Productions), 2.30 and 7.30pm
Make it a Christmas to remember with a special screening of this family favourite accompanied by a live orchestra.
Saturday 17 December, The Archbishop of York reads The Sleepy Shepherd, 10.30am
Stephen Cottrell, the Archbishop of York, will give a reading from his book The Sleepy Shepherd in the Lady Chapel. An enchanting Christmas tale for children aged 5-7, the book tells the story of Silas, who as a boy, misses the visit of the angels and the chance to greet the Christ-child in Bethlehem. Years later as a grown man, he makes an important decision – to be a real shepherd to a man whose friends have all fallen asleep. This is a free non-ticketed event. Spaces will operate on a first come first served basis. All are welcome.
Saturday 17 December, Carols by Candlelight, 7.30pm
This annual favourite in the stunning Nave of York Minster will also include the Chapter House Choir, traditional choral items and festive music performed by the Handbell Ringers of the Chapter House Choir.
Tuesday 20 December, G4 Christmas, 7.30pm
Experience sumptuous harmonies in an idyllic, festive setting. Hear timeless classics as well as delightful medleys to evoke the Christmas spirit.
Christmas Week Services at York Minster
Thursday 22 December, 5.30pm and Saturday 24 December, 4.00pm, Nine Lessons and Carols
The two traditional 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 required).
Christmas Eve – Saturday 24 December
11.30am, Crib Service
The Christmas story in a fun and accessible format with carols, musical accompaniment and the chance to see the crib. Children are encouraged to dress up as characters from the Nativity. (Free tickets required).
4.00pm, Nine Lessons and Carols
The second of two services consisting of nine special readings, carols sung by the York Minster Choir and hymns for everyone to join in. A traditional Christmas celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ (livestream available). (Free tickets required)
11.30pm, First Eucharist of Christmas
The First Communion of Christmas with Blessing of the Crib and choral music.
Christmas Day – 25 December
8.00am, Holy Communion
A service from the Book of Common Prayer.
10.00am, Choral Matins
A joyous service sung by the Choir of York Minster.
11.00am, Sung Eucharist
Christmas Day worship at York Minster with the Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell and the Choir of York Minster (livestream available).
4.00pm, Choral Evensong
York Minster’s worship for Christmas Day ends with a service of Evensong, sung by the Choir of York Minster (livestream available).
His Majesty The King unveils York Minster’s statue of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
York Minster welcomed Their Majesties, The King and The Queen Consort to the cathedral (9 November 2022), for the unveiling and blessing of a new statue of Her Late Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.
Their Majesties were welcomed on arrival by the Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, the Acting Dean of York, The Reverend Canon Michael Smith and members of the Chapter of York.
After attending a short service in the Quire, Their Majesties met York Minster stonemason, Richard Bossons, designer and carver of the new statue, which honours the life of service and dedication of Queen Elizabeth. Their Majesties were also introduced to Minster staff and volunteers and guests from York and the region working to make a difference to their communities.
Their Majesties departed the Minster through the Great West Door where His Majesty unveiled the new statue of the late Queen. The Archbishop of York then blessed the statue and offered prayers for the day.
Following the unveiling His Majesty gave the following speech. He said: “Ladies and gentlemen, my wife and I are deeply touched to have been asked to unveil this statue to my beloved mother.”
“When this statue was first planned five years ago, during a reign of unprecedented duration and achievement, it was intended as a celebration of the late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Now, as we have witnessed, with great sadness, the passing of that reign, it is unveiled in her memory, as a tribute to a life of extraordinary service and devotion.
“The creation of this statue is also, if I may say so, a tribute to the support, affection and prayers that the community of this cathedral, and of this great city, always gave the late Queen, and all for which she stood in the life of the nation and the Commonwealth.
“The symbolism of the statue, combining the signs of Church and of State, is perfectly suited to its place on the West Front of this glorious building. It is a testament to the Minster’s enduring mission of showing God’s love and presence to all.
“The late Queen was always vigilant for the welfare of her people during her life. Now, her image will watch over what will become Queen Elizabeth Square, for centuries to come – a constant example of the duty and care for others, and for our community, which is the calling and the duty we all share.”
Commenting on the day’s events, Canon Michael Smith, Acting Dean of York said: “It was a huge privilege for the entire Minster Community to welcome Their Majesties yesterday. They were warm and generous with their time and enjoyed hearing about our work and shared life here together.
“The King asked lots of questions and showed great interest in the creation of the statue and the schools competition which ran alongside it. The statue was planned to mark the Platinum Jubilee and our late Queen’s dedicated service to our Nation and Church. It was fitting therefore, that her son, our new King, was able to come and unveil the statute, which as he so rightly said, will overlook Queen Elizabeth square “for centuries to come”.
His Majesty King Charles III and Her Majesty The Queen Consort to visit York Minster – Wednesday 9 November
His Majesty King Charles III and Her Majesty The Queen Consort, will visit York Minster on Wednesday 9 November for the unveiling and blessing of the cathedral’s new statue of Her Late Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.
The King and The Queen Consort’s arrival will be heralded by the York Minster bells. They will be welcomed by the Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, the Acting Dean of York, Canon Michael Smith and members of the Chapter of York. Children from the cathedral’s Minster Mice weekly service will present posies to The King and The Queen Consort.
After a short service of prayer, The King and The Queen Consort will meet people from the Minster Community, the city of York and the wider region doing outstanding work in their communities and making a difference to the lives of local people.
At a new exhibition, The King will meet York Minster stonemason Richard Bossons, the designer and carver of the statue of the late Queen, and his assistant Rita Dawe. The exhibition documents the creation of the statue from concept through to finished work of art. Commissioned by the Chapter of York, the cathedral’s governing body, the statue honours the life of service and dedication of Her Late Majesty the Queen.
The King will then meet children and young people from the Minster Community and talk to staff and volunteers who met the late Queen when she visited the Minster in 2012 to distribute the Royal Maundy.
The Queen Consort will meet representatives from the military and emergency services in the city and region. Her Majesty will be introduced to two pupils from Husthwaite Church of England Primary School, Husthwaite Village, North Yorkshire. The children won a competition to design a stone carving to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee. Their designs have been transformed into stone pieces carved by the Minster’s stonemasons.
Representatives from local social action groups, refugee organisations and charities working hard to support some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged communities in York and the region, will meet The Queen Consort.
The King and The Queen Consort will sign the Distinguished Visitors’ Book before leaving the Minster through the Great West Door for the unveiling and blessing of the statue.
Archbishop Stephen said: “The presence of The King and The Queen Consort at York Minster, in the heart of the city of York, for this wonderful and unique occasion is an immensely poignant moment. But this is also a joyful day as we honour the long life and service of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth to her people, her nation and the Commonwealth.”
Lord Mayor of York, Councillor David Carr said: “That His Majesty King Charles III has chosen to visit this historic city so early in his reign is a great honour for York. We hope that this day, which I am certain will combine great joy at his presence and proud reflection on the great service and legacy of his late mother, Queen Elizabeth II, will be the first of many visits by him to this great city. My thanks and congratulations go to the whole team at York Minster for the work they have done to make this historic occasion possible.”
The Installation of The Very Reverend Dominic Barrington as the 77th Dean of York
The Very Reverend Dominic Barrington, Dean of St James Cathedral, Chicago, United States, will be Installed as the 77th Dean of York during a special service of Choral Evensong, starting at 3pm at York Minster on Saturday 12 November to which all are warmly invited. The service will be live streamed to enable people to join from far and wide.
Dean Dominic’s Installation is the final part of the ceremonial sequence that appoints him to his place as Dean of York in the Minster’s constitutional Foundation. The Installation during Choral Evensong follows immediately after Dean Dominic’s Admission, which takes place in a specially-convened meeting of the College of Canons, held in the Minster’s Chapter House and will be led by the Acting Dean of York, The Reverend Canon Michael Smith.
The service of prayers, readings and music will be sung by the Choir of York Minster and will include a special hymn composed for the new Dean. At the service, Dean Dominic will give his first sermon in York Minster and will be commended in his new ministry by the Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell.
Commenting on the forthcoming service, Dominic said: “It is a great privilege to be called to serve as Dean of York. I am looking forward enormously to working alongside the dedicated team of staff and volunteers who keep the Minster operating, and getting to know the many communities for whom this remarkable cathedral church holds a special place in their lives.”
The Archbishop of York said: “Dominic is a priest with a pilgrim heart. With his guidance and under his leadership, York Minster will continue to grow as a place of influence, hospitality and pilgrimage for our city, diocese and region. It is a great joy to be welcoming him to this wonderful place at a time of great opportunity and need for our church and nation.”
Dominic succeeds The Right Reverend Dr Jonathan Frost who was installed as Bishop of Portsmouth in March.
Biographical Details – The Very Reverend Dominic Barrington, Dean of York
Dominic began his ministry as Curate in the Mortlake with East Sheen Team Ministry in the Diocese of Southwark. He served as a University Chaplain at St Chad’s, Durham before becoming Priest in Charge, and subsequently Rector at St Peter & Paul with St Michael’s in Kettering in the Diocese of Peterborough. He was installed as Dean of St James Cathedral, Chicago, in September 2015 after 20 years of ordained ministry in the Church of England.
Dominic has previously worked with the Arts Council to create and fund new regional touring opportunities for the London Symphony, the Royal Philharmonic and other orchestras. He also worked for several years with some of Britain’s leading professional choirs and vocal groups.
Dominic is married to Alison, a music therapist, who has worked in both clinical and academic contexts. They have two sons, Benedict and Linus.
York Minster Refectory works begins
Following extensive restoration works by Chapter of York, the former Minster School site has now been handed over to GEM construction who will convert the Grade II listed building into a refectory-style restaurant with extensive public realm.
The works will include the creation of a new public park – Minster Gardens.
The joint project between GEM Construction, The Star Group of Restaurants and interior designer Rachel McLane will involve sensitively converting the former song school into a destination restaurant.
Due to be complete in Q2 2023, the York Minster Refectory will be managed by Bex Toppin and Will Pearce, who both have years of experience working in Michelin star restaurants across the country. Bringing a further 25 years of culinary expertise to the project is joint partner Andrew Pern, proprietor of the recently reopened Star Inn at Harome in North Yorkshire.
The team’s ambition is to create an accessible, welcoming restaurant, providing locally sourced dishes made with the highest-quality ingredients. The Refectory will offer a daytime takeaway element and daytime and evening dining, with plans to also introduce a mix of smaller function and private dining rooms.
The commencement of works closely follows the installation of solar tiles on the Refectory’s roof, marking the first time that solar tiles have been placed on a listed building in the city.
The Refectory project forms part of York Minster’s Neighbourhood Plan, an ambitious masterplan to secure a sustainable future for York Minster, which was recently ratified by City of York Council. Delivery of the Neighbourhood Plan will herald the largest planned programme of works at the Minster and its surrounding Precinct since the 1850s.
Alex McCallion, Director of Works and Precinct at York Minster, said: “We’re really excited that works are underway to enhance the Minster’s visitor offer by sensitively repurposing the former Minster school and creating a new park in the centre of York for everyone to enjoy.
“The Refectory will provide a new dimension to the Precinct and offer our community, local residents and the many visitors to our city an imposing view of the magnificent Minster in a historic setting. Importantly, the Refectory will contribute towards generating income to help us care for York Minster and its Precinct well into the 21st century and support projects like the £11m South Quire Aisle restoration project.”
Mike Green, Chairman of GEM Construction, and joint partner in the venture, added: “We have been proudly delivering quality developments across York for over 20 years and are delighted to be working with our partners to deliver this scheme, which, through its communal, refectory-style dining concept, will pay homage to the building’s former life as a school.
“Each member of the refectory team – Bex, Will, Andrew, Mike and Rachel – have strong connections, not just to York, but to the Minster and the former school itself, so are deeply passionate about this exciting project to further cement York Minster’s reputation as one of the UK’s leading religious and cultural visitor attractions.”
For more information about the York Minster Neighbourhood Plan, click here.
York Minster’s programme of services and events for Advent and Christmas 2022
York Minster is preparing to mark Advent and Christmas with a range of beautiful breath-taking services and seasonal concerts for all the family.
From moments of quiet reflection to some of the cathedral’s most popular events of the year – the Minster’s special services, festive events, traditions and seasonal music celebrate the season’s themes of anticipation, hope and joy.
Advent starts on Sunday 27 November and will be marked by York Minster’s spectacular Advent Procession service which begins with the cathedral in complete darkness gradually illuminated by candlelight.
Other service highlights during Christmas Week will include Nine Lessons and Carols on 22 and 24 December and the Crib Service (24 December). The Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, will preside at the Eucharist of Christmas Day at 11.00am on 25 December.
Free tickets will need to be booked in advance for some highlight services, with tickets released during November and December (see full details below).
The cathedral’s popular, annual Christmas Carol Concerts will return on 8 and 9 December and special screenings of family-favourite The Snowman, accompanied by a live orchestra, will take place on Saturday 10 December presented by Carrot Productions.
The second year of the York Minster Christmas Tree Festival will be staged inside the cathedral’s stunning Chapter House and Lady Chapel. Around 40 trees will be on display decorated to individual themes by local businesses, schools and charities. Visitors will be able to add their own Christmas message to a tag on the festival’s prayer trees. The first day of the festival (3 December), will be marked at 10.00am with a special session of Saturday Mornings at York Minster for children and families to celebrate the Christmas trees with craft activities and a short service.
Join Gabrieli Roar for ‘In Dulci Jubilo’ on Saturday 3 December, a Christmastide treat featuring the spectacular polychoral music of Michael Praetorius in belated celebration of the 400th anniversary of the great composer’s death. With a choir of young singers performing alongside Gabrieli’s world-class musicians, audiences and singers alike are sure to delight in this most exciting and flamboyant music of the early baroque.
On Saturday 17 December the Chapter House Choir will perform Carols by Candlelight. They will be joined by the Chapter House Youth Choir and there will be festive music performed by the Handbell Ringers of the Chapter House Choir.
The Acting Dean of York, The Revd Michael Smith, said: “Advent and Christmas lie at the heart of the Christian faith. It marks the start of the Church year and it is a time of reflection and anticipation as we prepare for the birth of Christ which we celebrate on Christmas Day. After a challenging and difficult year, the Christmas message of joy and hope will provide comfort for many.
“This year we will all be remembering the Christmas messages the late Queen used to share with us each year. In those messages she often spoke of her faith and reminded us that Christmas is all about Jesus who reveals how we can live life to the full and find hope even in times of darkness. As we remember her messages from the past we surround our new King with our love and prayers as his reign begins.
“There will be a very warm welcome for everyone visiting York Minster this Advent and Christmas whether in person or online for our livestream worship throughout the season.”
York Minster will be open for sightseeing throughout November and December but may need to close from time to time for services and events – please check the website for opening times and to book admission tickets.
The Minster Shops inside the cathedral and at 9 Minster Gates will also be open daily offering a range of bespoke gifts inspired by the cathedral alongside seasonal items including nativity sets and advent calendars and candles.
For full details of York Minster’s programme for Advent and Christmas see below or go to: www.yorkminster.org.
Evensong: Johann Sebastian Bach’s Cantata 140, Sleepers, wake
Sunday 20 November, 4.00pm
The Choir of York Minster gives its traditional annual performance of Bach’s popular Cantata 140, ‘Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme’ (Sleepers, wake), with orchestral accompaniment at Evensong for the Sunday before Advent.
No booking required. This service will also be livestreamed via www.yorkminster.org.
Sunday 27 November, 5.30pm
An atmospheric and breath-taking candlelit service with music by the Choir of York Minster, readings and prayers for Advent, in celebration and anticipation of the arrival of Jesus Christ, the Light of the World.
Free tickets must be booked in advance for this service. Tickets will be available from 10.00am on Monday 14 November via www.yorkminster.org or by calling our Box Office on 01904 557200. The service will also be livestreamed.
Sankta Lucia: Festival of Light
Friday 2 December, 7.30pm
In Sweden, Lucia is one of the most significant traditions in the calendar: a powerful symbol and celebration of light and an integral part of the Advent season. The celebration of Sankta Lucia is based on the bravery and martyrdom of a young Sicilian girl – St Lucy – who died in the early fourth century. Her name and story reached Sweden along with Christianity, and she remained popular even after the Reformation as the bringer of light during the long darkness of winter. In association with York Anglo-Scandinavian Society.
The York Minster Christmas Tree Festival
Saturday 3 December to Thursday 5 January
Open daily during general admission times
Experience the Minster’s Christmas Tree Festival in the stunning surroundings of the ancient Chapter House and Lady Chapel. Around 40 trees will be individually decorated by local businesses, schools and charities. Visitors can add their own Christmas message to a tag for the festival prayer trees. Entry is free with general admission.
Saturday Mornings at York Minster celebrates the Christmas Tree Festival
Saturday 3 December, 10.00am
The first day of the festival will be marked at 10.00am with a special event for children and families to celebrate the Christmas trees with craft activities and a short service.
In Dulci Jubilo: Praetorius & Schütz with Gabrieli Roar
Saturday 3 December, 7.30pm
Join Gabrieli Roar for ‘In Dulci Jubilo’, a Christmastide treat featuring the spectacular polychoral music of Michael Praetorius in belated celebration of the 400th anniversary of the great composer’s death. With a choir of young singers performing alongside Gabrieli’s world-class musicians, audiences and singers alike are sure to delight in this most exciting and flamboyant music of the early baroque.
Tickets will be available via www.yorkminster.org or by calling the Box Office on 01904 557200.
Christmas Carol Concerts
Thursday 8 and Friday 9 December, 7.00pm
York Minster’s popular Christmas Carol Concerts return this year offering the perfect start to the festive season. The Choir of York Minster, one of the UK’s leading cathedral choirs, will perform traditional and much loved Christmas music, with seasonal readings from a special guest and the chance for the audience to join in with carols.
Tickets for the popular concerts priced at £15 – £30 will go on sale at 10.00am on Tuesday 4 October via www.yorkminster.org or by calling our Box Office on 01904 557200.
The Snowman Tour
Saturday 10 December with performances at 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Make it a Christmas to remember with a special screening of family favourite The Snowman accompanied by a magnificent live orchestra. Presented by Carrot Productions, the world’s leading performers of The Snowman film with live orchestra, the performance will also include The Flight Before Christmas – the sensational new Shaun the Sheep film staged with live orchestra for the first time. For tickets go to: www.yorkminster.org
The Chapter House Choir: Carols by Candlelight
Saturday 17 December, 7.30pm
The Chapter House Choir will be joined by the Chapter House Youth Choir and there will be festive music performed by the Handbell Ringers of the Chapter House Choir.
Tickets will be available via www.yorkminster.org or by calling the Box Office on 01904 557200.
Christmas Week at York Minster
Nine Lessons and Carols
Thursday 22 December, 5.30pm and Saturday 24 December, 4.00pm
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 for both services must be booked in advance and will be available from 10.00am on Thursday 8 December via www.yorkminster.org or by calling our Box Office on 01904 557200.
The service on Saturday 24 December at 4:00pm will also be livestreamed via the Minster website.
Christmas Eve services, Saturday 24 December
Join York Minster’s worship for Christmas Eve at the cathedral or from the comfort of your home.
- 11.30am: Crib Service – a traditional and popular service for all the family. Free tickets will need to be booked in advance and will be available from 10.00am on Thursday 8 December.
- 4.00pm: Nine Lessons and Carols – the second of two services consisting of nine special readings, carols sung by the Choir of York Minster and hymns for everyone to join in. Free tickets will need to be booked in advance and will be available from 10:00am on Thursday 8 December. This service will also be livestreamed at yorkminster.org.
- 11.30pm: First Eucharist of Christmas (Midnight Mass) – A Sung Eucharist with Carols.
Christmas Day services, Sunday 25 December
Join York Minster’s worship for Christmas Day at the cathedral or from the comfort of your home.
- 8.00am: Holy Communion from the Book of Common Prayer.
- 10.00am: Choral Matins (sung by the Choir of York Minster).
- 11.00am: Sung Eucharist (sung by the Choir of York Minster). The Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell will preside. This service will also be livestreamed via yorkminster.org.
- 4.00pm: Choral Evensong (sung by the Choir of York Minster). This service will also be livestreamed via yorkminster.org.
The Eucharist for the Feast of the Epiphany
Friday 6 January 2023, 5.30pm
A special service to mark the Feast of the Epiphany. Epiphany means a ‘revelation’ and the feast day marks the arrival of the wise men, who, led by a star, find the infant Jesus and bow down before him in worship, offering gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. The service will be sung by the Chapter House Choir, an associate choir of York Minster. This service will also be livestreamed via yorkminster.org.
The Acting Dean of York announces retirement
The Acting Dean of York, The Revd Michael Smith, has today announced he will retire from York Minster and stipendiary ministry early next year.
Michael joined the team at York Minster as Canon Pastor in September 2013 and was appointed Acting Dean of York in January 2022, following the appointment of the previous Dean, The Right Reverend Dr Jonathan Frost, as the Bishop of Portsmouth.
The Very Revd Dominic Barrington, Dean of St James Cathedral in Chicago, was announced as the new Dean of York in July and will take up his post in November.
Michael said: “I was ordained in 1983 and worked in parish ministry for 30 years before moving to York Minster as pastor.
“It has been a huge privilege to minister here for almost ten years with a great community and some fantastic colleagues.
“I am pleased to have been able to contribute a little to the life of this great cathedral and look forward to welcoming Dean Dominic this autumn and working alongside him before I retire next year – I am sure that this great church is in safe hands with him at the helm.
“Having been a full time priest for almost 40 years I am looking forward to doing some new things including spending time writing and also cycling around Yorkshire and beyond.”
York Minster’s Services Commemorating Her Late Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II
As the period of national mourning for Her Late Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II continues, York Minster today confirmed the arrangements for special services, signing the Books of Condolence and the national one minute’s silence in honour of the late Queen.
The Acting Dean of York, The Revd Canon Michael Smith said: “Many thousands of people have visited the Minster since the death of Queen Elizabeth was announced last week. The historic significance of her reign, her constancy in our lives, and the grief and sadness of the Royal Family has evoked feelings of great sympathy, and remembrance of our own loved ones who have died.
“As the State Funeral approaches, we anticipate that many people will want to come to the Minster to give thanks for the life and mourn the death of this remarkable woman.”
For the remainder of the official period of mourning, the following services will take place at York Minster as we invite people from across Yorkshire and the North to commemorate the late Queen, sign the Books of Condolence and pray for King Charles III and the Royal Family. All are welcome.
Daily services will take place at 7.30 and 7.50am and 12noon. There will be a special service of Choral Evensong each day at 5.30pm. Outside of service times, the Books of Condolence will be open for signing from 9.30am until 7.30pm when the Minster will close for the day (see details below).
Saturday 17 September
5.30pm – Commemorative Service of Evensong for Her Late Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II
This Evensong Service with special prayers and music will take place in the Nave to commemorate and give thanks for the life of the late Queen.
This service will also be livestreamed
Full details and the livestream can be found here
Books of Condolence open for signing until 4.00pm, and then after the Evensong service from 6.20pm to 7.30pm.
Sunday 18 September
8am – Holy Communion
10am – Matins
11am – Choral Eucharist.
This service will be livestreamed.
Full details and the livestream can be found here
Books of Condolence open for signing from 12.30 until 2.15pm and 6.30pm until 8pm.
4pm – Civic Service of Commemoration for Her Late Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II
Led by the Acting Dean of York, The Revd Canon Michael Smith, this is the City of York’s civic service honouring the life and service of the late Queen. Councillors and Aldermen from City of York Council will process into the Minster ahead of the service. There will be special music and prayers for the late Queen, the new King and the Royal Family.
This service will also be livestreamed
Full details and the livestream can be found here
8pm – National Moment of Reflection
At a few minutes before the hour, people queuing inside and outside the Minster will be invited by members of the cathedral’s clergy to prepare for the national one minute silence in honour of the late Queen Elizabeth. The minute’s silence will commence as the Minster’s Great Peter Bell strikes the final chime on the hour.
Monday 19 September – The State Funeral
Daily services will take place at 7.30am and 7.50am, 12 noon and Evening Prayer at 5.30pm. Outside of each service the Book of Condolence will be open for the final day from 9.30am until 7.30pm.
York Minster consults on new Constitution and Statutes
The Chapter of York, the governing body of York Minster, today opened a public consultation on its proposed new Constitution and Statutes – the governing documents for the cathedral.
In 2017, following high profile governance issues in a number of cathedrals, the Church of England set up a working party to look at the governance of English cathedrals. The working party’s recommendations formed the basis of new legislation – the Cathedrals Measure – which was approved by the General Synod of the Church of England and came into law in 2021.
The 2021 Measure introduced revised provisions for the governance, management, property and financial affairs of English cathedrals. All cathedrals in England are required to prepare a new set of Constitutions and Statutes and must also apply to the UK Charity Commission for registration as a charity.
Working to a strict template provided and approved by the Church Commissioners, the statutory regulator for cathedrals in England, York Minster is in a pilot group of cathedrals working to revise and update their structures, processes and documents in order to comply with the new Measure. Some of the key changes for York Minster include:
- As a result of the Charity Commission registration, members of the Chapter of York will become Charity Trustees and will be subject to the oversight of the Charity Commission, rather than just the Church Commissioners
- The size, composition and membership of the Chapter of York will change
- The three bodies that currently form the governing corporation of York Minster – Chapter, Cathedral Council and the College of Canons – will change. Chapter will be reconstituted as the primary governing and oversight body for the cathedral
- The Cathedral Council will cease to exist and the College of Canons will no longer be part of the “body corporate” nor have any formal governance role.
The new Constitution and Statutes have been drafted with the help of expert ecclesiastical lawyers using the templates provided and approved by the Church Commissioners. The Archbishop of York, the Cathedral Council, Chapter, the Church Commissioners and the Charity Commissioners have all seen and are content with the drafted documents, subject to anything arising from the public consultation.
About the consultation
Everyone who has an interest in York Minster is invited to review and comment on the proposed new Constitution and Statutes. All comments and representations will be considered and responded to, as required under Section 32 of the Cathedrals Measure 2021. The consultation can be accessed in the following ways:
Via the York Minster Website
Go to https://yorkminster.org/about-us/ to view the proposed new Constitution and Statutes.
View a printed copy
Printed copies of the proposed new Constitution and Statutes are also available for inspection Monday – Friday during normal office hours.
Chapter Clerk’s Office
8-9 Minster Yard
Anyone who wishes to comment on the proposed new Constitutions and Statues either by:
- Indicating their approval for the changes, or
- Drawing to the attention of the Cathedral Council (the body responsible for putting the provisions of the Measure into effect for York Minster)
- any matters that they believe have been overlooked, or
- any errors that they believe have occurred, or
- any omissions that they believe have occurred
should send their comments by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
All responses must be received by 2.00pm on Friday 16th September 2022.
New light and sound installation to illuminate York Minster this October
A new light and sound installation from the award winning creators of Northern Lights will illuminate York Minster during October half term to help raise funds to conserve the cathedral’s medieval stained glass and stonework.
Platinum and Light is a new projection and sound artwork from artists Ross Ashton and Karen Monid, who created the spectacular Northern Lights installation which ran at York Minster in October 2019.
The new show, which will run for eight nights from Thursday 20 to Thursday 27 October, is inspired by Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and uses precious metals through the ages, including gold, silver and platinum, to journey through moments in York’s and the Minster’s history and their royal connections.
The events will help raise funds for the Minster’s current project to conserve the medieval St Cuthbert Window, which is one of the largest surviving narrative windows in Europe, and the stonework of the surrounding South Quire Transept.
Neil Sanderson, Director of the York Minster Fund, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Ross and Karen back to York Minster following the success of Northern Lights in 2019 and can’t wait to share this stunning new installation with our visitors.
“The light and sound projection will again illuminate the medieval Minster’s cavernous Nave, travelling down the full length of its ceiling and across the West End and Great West Window, highlighting elements of the cathedral’s architecture and taking inspiration from items in its historic collection.
“We were overwhelmed with the response to the events in 2019, and look forward to welcoming people to see this new installation and experience the Minster in a different light while supporting our work to conserve its world-renowned medieval stained glass and exquisite stonework.”
The events will open on Thursday 20 October with the first show at 9pm, and then run daily until Thursday 27 October with two showings each evening at 7.30pm and 9pm. On Sunday 23 October the shows will be at the earlier times of 6.30pm and 8pm.
Tickets are available here and cost £7.50 each, or £25 for a family ticket for up to two adults and two children.
Bookings are available by ringing: 01904 557200
Watch the trailer:
Experience Summer at York Minster
Experience Summer at York Minster
Visitors to York Minster this summer will find worship, music, late openings, a thought provoking art installation, block-buster films and fun family activities and events throughout July and August.
All are welcome to experience worship at the cathedral with daily services of Matins, Holy Communion and Evensong as well as the weekly Sunday Eucharist service. With the Choir of York Minster enjoying a well-earned summer break, Evensong services throughout July and August will be sung by a series of visiting choirs.
Artwork – ‘Faith and Fracture’
A large-scale art work inspired by the Church of England’s “Living in Love and Faith” project will be on display at York Minster this summer. Suspended four metres above the transept and made of two and a half thousand pieces of fragile, luminous glass, ‘Faith and Fracture’ will be on public view from 10 July until 16 September.
The art work was commissioned by the bishops of the Church of England as part of the “Living in Love and Faith” project which saw an 18-month long discussion held across the Church on the subject of human identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage. Designed by Alice Walker and David Ferrier, with an accompanying soundscape composed by Matt Eaton, the artists hope people will reflect on what faith might have to say in a world of conflict and fracture.
Seasonal Lates at York Minster
Fridays and Saturdays: 22 July – 3 September, 7pm – 9pm
Explore York Minster in the evening light when the cathedral opens its doors on Friday and Saturday evenings during the summer holidays for its seasonal lates. The Minster will be open for general admission giving visitors the chance to explore the medieval cathedral at their own pace, discover nearly 2,000 years of history in the Undercroft Museum and the opportunity to book Tower Trips.
The Grand Organ Returns – The Inaugural Recital Series 2022
Thursdays 21 July – 18 August, 7pm
Join internationally renowned musicians for a special series of recitals celebrating the return of York Minster’s Grand Organ following its £2m, once-in-a-century refurbishment.
- 21 July, 7pm – Nathan Laube
- 28 July, 7pm – Benjamin Morris
- 4 August, 7pm – David Briggs
- 11 August, 7pm – Margaret Phillips
- 18 August, 7pm – Robert Sharpe.
Open Air Cinema
30 August – 1 September, 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. Luna’s 2022 summer programme includes the 25th masterpiece in the James Bond franchise ‘No Time to Die’, the magical ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’ and ‘Grease’ – the ultimate summer night movie.
With fantastic food and drink, VIP sofas, brand new two-seater deckchairs and the truly unique backdrop of York Minster, this is an unmissable event.
- Tuesday 30 August – No Time to Die
- Wednesday 31 August – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Thursday 1 September – Grease
Family fun and activities for the summer holidays
There will be a range of activities and events at York Minster for children and families throughout July and August. Don’t forget that admission is free for children and York residents go free with valid proof of address.
Get crafty in Dean’s Park
Thursdays and Fridays in August, 10am – 3pm
- Get hands-on with craft activities in our Summer Tent in Dean’s Park.
- 4 and 5 August – Sculpt a royal bust.
- 11 and 12 August – Make a Royal tile.
- 18 and 19 August – Create a crown.
- 25 and 26 August – Design your own shield.
Suitable for children aged 4+
York Bird of Prey Centre
Thursdays and Fridays 28 July – 2 September
The York Bird of Prey Centre from Huby, will join us in Dean’s Park to share and show off the wonderful variety of birds they care for. Drop in throughout the day for free educational talks and demonstrations.
Little Explorer Backpacks
Packed with gadgets including a map, binoculars, and a magnifying glass, our backpacks are perfect for helping little adventurers explore the medieval Minster. The backpacks are available daily and are free to borrow with general admission on a first come, first served basis.
Dragon Quest Trail
Legendary knight, St George, requests help from the little ones to find all the dragons in York Minster to help him complete his noble quest. Little adventurers will have fun discovering the fascinating fiery creatures that decorate the building.
For more information about summer at York Minster go to: What’s on | York Minster