Solar panel approval for pioneering York Minster
Plans to install photovoltaic panels on the roof of York Minster have been approved by City of York Council (CoYC) and the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England.
This important decarbonisation project forms part of the York Minster Neighbourhood Plan and is one of a number of sustainability projects taking place across the Precinct.
As the pioneering example of a heritage estate using a Neighbourhood Plan to map out its future, it seeks to safeguard the Minster for generations to come through a commitment to sustainability, biodiversity and wellbeing.
The 199 panels will be placed on the roof of the South Quire Aisle, originally dating from 1361, and will enable the Minster to generate 75,000 kilowatt-hours of power annually.
As well as contributing to meeting daytime power demand, surplus power generated by the panels will be stored in underground batteries and used to power the cathedral’s evening services and events.
There will also be a panel installed within the Minster itself displaying its energy production and carbon savings as it seeks to promote the importance of decarbonisation to the thousands of local, national and international visitors that appreciate York Minster.
The Dean of York, the Very Revd Dominic Barrington, said: “The Church of England has pledged to be net zero by 2030 and we are proud to be playing a significant role in not only helping to achieve this vision, but also inspiring other cathedrals to follow suit. We are incredibly pleased that City of York Council has recognised the importance of this intervention not just for the Minster, but for the wider city.
“We have consulted extensively with key stakeholders including Historic England and the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England to ensure that the panels are sensitive to the Precinct’s historic architecture and wish to express our gratitude for their continued support up to this point.”
Alex McCallion, Director of Works and Precinct at York Minster, said: “Through our adopted Neighbourhood Plan, we are committed to being an exemplar for the city and further afield. Our aim is to inspire individuals and other organisations to implement their own small changes to contribute to national and international efforts.
“The exceptional architectural and cultural value of the Minster underpins the international reputation of York as a city, which is why we are so committed to delivering important decarbonisation projects such as this one, in turn setting a leading example for other heritage institutions to follow.
“We thank City of York Council, Historic England, and the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England for their partnership working in helping to deliver these ambitions as we all find our way to address the climate emergency, which is currently the greatest threat to the fabric of our historic Minster.”
For more information about the York Minster Neighbourhood Plan, visit: https://yorkminster.org/about-us/master-planning/.
Exhibition showcases royal treasures from York Minster’s historic collections to celebrate the Coronation
York Minster is celebrating the Coronation of King Charles III through an updated exhibition showcasing royal treasures from the cathedral’s historic collection that mark a centuries-old relationship with the monarchy.
The exhibition, which will open on Saturday 25 March, traces the influence of the monarchy and the significance of coronations throughout York Minster’s history. From the humble baptism of King Edwin of Northumbria on Easter Day in 627 AD in a small wooden church built hastily for the service – the first York Minster – to HM King Charles III’s poignant return to the cathedral in November 2022 to unveil a statue of his late mother, Queen Elizabeth II. These royal events have shaped life and worship at York Minster over the centuries.
Running until 1 October 2023, the exhibition – Majesty: Monarchy and York Minster – will be located in the cathedral’s Treasury and features some items never before seen on public display.
Visitors can see a Bible and matching Prayer Book, bound in red velvet and finely decorated in silver with the keys of St Peter, purchased York Minster with a grant from King Charles I in 1633, a Minster Police truncheon 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 the ancient ‘coronation chair’, once believed to have been used in the coronation of Anglo-Saxon kings and more recently in the enthronement of the Archbishops of York, which was carried ablaze from York Minster following a fire in 1829, Chinese silk gifted to Queen Victoria on her wedding day which has been transformed into burses and veils used in preparation for the celebration of Holy Communion, and a Victorian fire bucket with a royal crest. The brilliantly coloured cope worn by Thomas Secker, Archbishop of Canterbury, to officiate at George III’s coronation draws the eye.
The exhibition showcases the range of York Minster’s nationally important collections, with a focus on local connections. From the script of the 1909 York Pageant, to the Yorkshire Post Coronation Supplement for King George VI and a specially bound copy of the BBC publication ‘The Year that Made the Day: how the BBC planned and prepared the Coronation day broadcasts’ presented to the Archbishop of York, Cyril Garbett, to mark his role in the coronation of Elizabeth II in 1953, it offers insights into the royal history of York Minster.
York Minster is renowned for its choir and music, and on display will be Handel’s Celebrated Coronation Anthems in score, for voice and instruments. These include Zadok the Priest, composed for the coronation of George II in 1727 and performed at every British coronation since.
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.
Helen Rawson, Head of Collections and Interpretation at York Minster, explains: “The Coronation provides a splendid opportunity to showcase York Minster’s fascinating collections with royal associations, some held in the cathedral for centuries. From music and celebration to emblems of regal power and authority, gorgeous textiles and stunning silver, the exhibition is a visual and sensory extravaganza.”
The exhibition will be open from Saturday 25 March during normal visiting times until Sunday 1 October. Entry is included with a standard admission ticket and entry to York Minster is free for York residents with valid proof of address.
Events and services at York Minster for World Autism Acceptance Week
An exciting programme of events for World Autism Acceptance Week will take place at York Minster from Wednesday 29 March until Sunday 2 April. The theme for this year’s activities is ‘Spectrum Colour’.
Activities and events at the cathedral will focus on the needs of people living with neurodiverse and sensory conditions. Capacity inside the cathedral will be reduced at key times during the week to create a ‘Mindful Minster’ – a peaceful and calm visiting environment for people with these conditions.
York Minster’s five day programme includes creative art workshops, storytelling, dance, drama, singing and mindfulness sessions. The medieval Chapter House will be the venue for a sound installation on Saturday 1 April where visitors will be able to experience the waves of a sound bath. The cathedral will also trial British Sign Language Interpretation at two services of Choral Evensong during the week.
Hannah Parker, Head of Visitor Experience and Chair of York Minster’s Inclusivity and Accessibility committee, said: “York Minster is pleased to be participating in World Autism Acceptance Week for the first time. We have worked with local partners to design an inclusive and accessible programme of activities and events for people living with neurodiverse conditions. To make this happen, we will reduce visitor numbers so there will be fewer people in the cathedral to create ‘relaxed hours’ – quiet times when noise in the Minster will be minimised to avoid sensory overload which can be disturbing and overwhelming for people living with these conditions.
“A big part of our mission at York Minster is to include, engage and inspire the people we welcome. By participating in Autism Acceptance Week we hope to provide a welcoming and inclusive space in the city and York Minster is proud to support that vision.”
For full details of York Minster’s programme for Autism Acceptance Week, see below or go to: www.yorkminster.org.
Wednesday 29 March, Thursday 30 March & Friday 31 March,
9.30am – 11.30am & 3.00pm – 4.00pm
Come and enjoy a peaceful atmosphere and explore the building’s magnificent architecture, or simply take some time-out from busy, daily life with Mindful Minster. During these ‘Relaxed Hours’, visitor capacity will be reduced, with noise and light levels lowered so those with neurodiverse conditions can explore comfortably, away from the hustle and bustle of the general public.
Free with General Admission.
Choral Evensong with British Sign Language interpretation
Wednesday 29 March, 5.30pm & Sunday 2 April, 4.00pm
Two services of Choral Evensong will include British Sign Language interpretation to allow those with hearing impairments to join York Minster’s worship.
No booking required. The service on Sunday 2 April will also be livestreamed via our YouTube channel.
Hands Together: Creative arts for Mindfulness
Thursday 30 March, 9.30am – 11.30am & 3.00pm – 4.00pm
Be inspired by space, colour and light in York Minster’s Chapter House and create and decorate hands with York-based visual artist and writer Griselda Goldsbrough.
Free with General Admission.
Sensory Stories and Singalong
Friday 31 March, 7.30pm – 8.30pm
Visitors can experience York Minster’s medieval Chapter House draped in colourful fabric as they are immersed in story-telling and music. There will also be a chance to join a family singalong.
Tickets cost £2.50 per person, with a group ticket available for four people priced at £8.00.
Saturday 1 April, 9.30am – 3.30pm
Discover the cathedral through singing, acting and storytelling. Families can explore a sound installation in the medieval Chapter House as they are bathed in the waves of a sound bath. Throughout the day, interactive sessions will take place, with dance and sensory music making in the Chapter House, and storytelling in St Stephen’s Chapel.
Free with General Admission.
Key milestone reached for York Minster’s Neighbourhood Plan project
Enabling works have begun at pace at York Minster following the arrival of two Portakabin® buildings to the Minster precinct this morning (Monday 23rd January).
The temporary buildings will facilitate the decant of the existing Stoneyard dating from 1914 to allow the creation of the Technology & Works Hub, one of the two new facilities of the Centre of Excellence, a world-class campus providing research, education and training in the heritage craft skills which are vital for the ongoing repair and conservation of the Minster.
York Minster and Shepherd Group, owners of the Portakabin brand, have a long history of working together. York-based Shepherd Construction supported on the restoration of the Minster Tower from 1967 to 1972, when six and a half miles of high tensile stainless-steel rods were inserted into foundations of the central and western towers, forming the reinforced stress frames that stabilised the towers.
The Centre of Excellence is the pioneer project in the York Minster Neighbourhood Plan, an ambitious masterplan ratified by City of York Council in June 2022. Expected to be finished by mid-2024, the arrival of the Portakabin buildings will allow pre-demolition survey work to begin, and will provide essential office and welfare accommodation for the Works department which is currently housed in the Minster Stoneyard.
York Minster has also submitted a planning application to City of York Council to sustainably convert and refurbish 1 Deangate in the Minster Precinct into offices and welfare facilities for its Visitor Experience staff and volunteers. The building is currently being used as temporary facilities for some of the Stoneyard trades, and will continue to be used as such during the redevelopment of its existing facilities.
If approved, the conversion of 1 Deangate will enable the Visitor Experience team to be housed together within an inspiring workspace, in turn allowing York Minster to further enhance the welcome it provides to over 700,000 visitors annually.
With plans for the building to be fully insulated and equipped with roof-mounted solar slates and air-source heat pumps, the proposals support the objectives of the Neighbourhood Plan, which has been developed with sustainability at its heart.
Alex McCallion, Director of Works and Precinct at York Minster, said: “The arrival of the Portakabin buildings today is an exciting milestone in the delivery of the Centre of Excellence and forms part of the enabling works ahead of construction starting in the Spring. We’re delighted to again be working with Shepherd Group to further enhance and preserve this incredibly significant monument for so many across the world and are very grateful to them for their support with this project through their sponsorship of the temporary facilities.
“It is also good to see the next project of the Neighbourhood Plan start the next stage of development as we submit the planning application for the redevelopment of 1 Deangate. We are particularly pleased with the net zero retrofit element of this project which, if approved, will delivery onsite energy production through the installation of solar tiles, a fully insulated building and air source heat pumps – allowing us to reach another major milestone in our journey towards net zero”.
Dan Ibbetson, CEO of Shepherd Group and Portakabin comments: “York Minster is in the DNA of our City, and we’re delighted to be working with them once again. The ambitious plans they have match our aspirations to be a driving force behind innovative ways to support the future of construction. Heritage craft skills will play a huge part in honouring the past while preparing York and the Minster for an exciting future.”
For more information about the York Minster Neighbourhood Plan, click here.
York Minster welcomes Church of England proposals for Living in Love and Faith
The Dean of York, the Very Revd Dominic Barrington, today welcomed proposals by the Bishops of the Church of England that will allow same-sex couples in a committed civil marriage or partnership, to be able to come to church for a service of prayers of thanksgiving, blessing and dedication for the first time.
Dominic also welcomed the decision of the bishops to issue an apology to the LGBTQI+ community for the “rejection, exclusion and hostility” they have faced in churches and the impact this has had on their lives. Both steps are key outcomes of Living in Love and Faith, the Church of England’s biggest ever listening exercise on questions of sexuality, gender, relationships and marriage carried out over the last six years.
Dean Dominic said: “The bishops’ recommendations are a key moment for the Church. They signify forward movement, acceptance and repentance for past hurt and pain and they also reflect the complexity and diversity of views in the Church on questions of sexuality, relationships and marriage. It is my hope that Synod will be happy to receive these recommendations and will encourage the bishops to enable the church to continue to journey forwards towards an ever greater welcome and inclusion of all of God’s children.
“I acknowledge that not everyone will be happy. Some will feel that the Church has gone too far – others that the Church has not gone far enough. There is plenty of room for the conversations to continue. It is my hope that these recommendations will be received in a spirit of generosity. I also pray that church communities everywhere will welcome same-sex couples unreservedly and joyfully and make their place of worship a safe and welcoming space. This is always the mission and ministry of York Minster.”
York Minster’s Christmas Tree Festival opens inside the medieval cathedral
The York Minster Christmas Tree Festival is returning to the cathedral this Advent and Christmas following the success of the first festival in 2021, with this year’s event taking place inside the medieval Minster.
The festival, which will open on Saturday 3 December with a special service for families, will feature nearly 40 trees decorated by local businesses, schools and charities set inside the cathedral’s stunning Chapter House and Lady Chapel.
Visitors will be able to see the trees decorated to individual themes, vote for their favourite tree in a ‘best dressed tree’ competition and add their own Christmas message to a tag to hang on one of the festival’s prayer trees.
The festival will open at 10am on Saturday 3 December with a special Saturday Mornings at York Minster session for families, which will include a short service in celebration of the festival opening.
Neil Sanderson, Director of the York Minster Fund, said: “We’re delighted to see the Christmas Tree Festival return for a second year following the success of the 2021 event.
“This year the festival will take place inside the Minster, with trees set inside the spectacular, medieval Chapter House and Lady Chapel.
“Nearly 40 trees will be decorated to individual themes, taking inspiration from a range of topics including seasonal stories, nature and festive traditions, and featuring diverse decorations from handcrafted items, to mythical creatures and Yorkshire inspired decorations. We hope the event will again spread some seasonal cheer while supporting one of the world’s most magnificent cathedrals.”
The trees for the festival have been provided by award-winning local company York Christmas Trees.
Through out the festival’s run, visitors will be able to vote for their favourite tree with the winning charity or school receiving a £200 prize and the winning business £200 to donate to a charity of their choice.
The Christmas Tree Festival will run from Saturday 3 December 2022 to Thursday 5 January 2023 during general admission times (please check opening times on the website before visiting). Entry is included with general admission (general admission is free for York residents with proof of address).
The festival forms part of a busy programme of services and events at the cathedral to mark Advent and Christmas. For full details visit yorkminster.org/whats-on/.
Pioneering York Minster leads way with photovoltaic roof installation plan
As COP 27 today draws to a close, major plans for York Minster to generate its own electricity through renewable energy have taken a step forward.
The first of the major cathedrals to do so, the Minster proposes to install 199 photovoltaic panels on the roof of the South Quire Aisle, which originally dates from 1361 but was renewed after the 1829 fire, producing 75,000 kilowatt-hours of power every year.
Light captured from the sun by the panels during daylight hours will be converted into electricity and used to power the cathedral’s evening services and events.
A planning application for the installation, led by historic building specialists Caroe Architecture, has today been submitted to City of York Council. It will be the largest of its type on any cathedral in the UK and will follow other similar successful projects at Bradford, Gloucester and Salisbury cathedrals.
The panels, which will be able to be glimpsed at ground level but will not detract from the cathedral’s architecture or heritage values, will support its ambitions to achieve operational net zero carbon, as outlined in its adopted Neighbourhood Plan, which sets out a 15-year route map to create a sustainable future for the Precinct.
The application, which follows extensive consultations between York Minster and key stakeholders, including City of York Council and Historic England, comes as the Minster, like many others, faces significant increases in the cost of energy.
It is estimated that in 2023 the annual gas and electricity costs to heat and power not only the cathedral itself but the many surrounding buildings that make up its wider Precinct could triple.
The planning application follows the successful installation and operation of solar tiles on the roof of the Precinct’s Refectory earlier this year, marking the first time that solar tiles have been placed on a listed building in the city and already producing 11,000 kilowatt-hours of power a year.
Alex McCallion, Director of Works and Precinct at York Minster, said: “With a climate emergency having been recognised worldwide and City of York Council having set an ambition for York to be a net zero carbon city by 2030, alongside a similar pledge by the Church of England, it is timely that we are submitting this important planning application as the COP 27 conference reaches its conclusion.
“We have committed to taking a lead on addressing the climate emergency through the implementation of our Neighbourhood Plan and have been very clear that the greatest threat to the fabric of our historic Minster, the Precinct and our many heritage properties are extreme weather events brought about by climate change.
“We are extremely proud of this application and the positive impacts it will bring, and I invite City of York Council to please support this fundamental project to allow the Chapter of York at York Minster to play its part as we move towards our net zero goal.”
The Dean of York, the Very Revd Dominic Barrington, said: “Through our Neighbourhood Plan we have set a clear policy-led approach that is not only making positive improvements to the cathedral for both its benefit and that of the city, but is also setting a guiding example for others to follow in how heritage estates address climate change.
“We believe that this well-placed, carefully judged and justified photovoltaic installation on the roof of the Minster is a fundamental part of this vision. The installation, which is sensitive to the Precinct’s historic architecture, will be celebrated inside with a panel displaying the energy production and carbon savings, and we welcome the fact people will be able to glimpse the panels and understand their importance to the Minster’s sustainable future.”
Stephen Cottrell, Archbishop of York, said: “The message from COP27 is that everyone has a role to play in effectively implementing the ambitious climate action required to meet the urgent needs of the planet.
“York Minster has already committed to taking a lead on addressing the climate emergency through the implementation of its Neighbourhood Plan, and this installation if approved will go a huge way in supporting the future care and conservation of this significant monument.”
For more information about the York Minster Neighbourhood Plan, visit: yorkminster.org/about-us/master-planning/.
Ceremony to unveil and bless York Minster’s new statue of Her Late Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, postponed
A statement from York Minster:
The ceremony to unveil and bless a new statue of Her Late Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II at York Minster on Friday (23 September) has been postponed, as a mark of respect for the period of Royal Mourning. A new date to unveil and bless the statue will be announced in due course.
The Death of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II Commemoration and Thanksgiving for the life of the late Monarch
Following the announcement yesterday of the death of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II at the age of 96, York Minster has confirmed the arrangements for people to visit the cathedral for prayer, reflection, to lay floral tributes and to sign the Books of Condolence in memory of the late Queen.
The Acting Dean of York, The Revd Canon Michael Smith said:
“This week, York Minster will help the people of the city and the region to pay their respects, to say farewell and to give thanks for the life of an extraordinary human being. For more than 70 years, the late Queen Elizabeth II dedicated her long life to service on behalf of the citizens of her country, the Commonwealth and to the world. Her reassuring, calm and intelligent presence through seven momentous decades of history, turmoil and change is all that many of us have ever known. Today, we must come to terms with the enormity of her death, and as we mourn, to give thanks that the Christian faith which sustained her in life also gave her confidence that she remains held in God’s love now and for ever.
“There will be great sadness for the nation and for the Royal Family who are mourning the loss of a mother, grandmother and great-grand mother – a much loved family member. But there will also be memories, honour and gratitude for a remarkable life that was so well lived.”
Prayers will be said for the late Queen and for the Royal Family at all services and throughout the day.
The arrangements at York Minster are as follows:
Friday 9th September
The Flag of the Cross of St George is at half-mast on the North West tower.
12noon Great Peter to be tolled.
12.00pm Holy Communion in the Nave.
2.00pm Hourly Prayer.
3.00pm Hourly Prayer.
5.30pm Choral Evensong with the Choir of York Minster and specially selected music and prayers.
7.30pm The Minster and Dean’s Park close for the day.
This pattern of worship and prayer will follow throughout the official period of national mourning. All are welcome to the Minster to pray or reflect.
The pattern of worship Monday to Saturday can be found here.
The pattern of worship on Sundays can be found here.
Other dates of note/special services
There will be special prayers for the late Queen throughout the period.
In line with the official proclamation on Saturday 10th September, the Flag of St. George will be raised to full mast.
On Sunday 11th September, the Archbishop of York will preach and preside at the 11 am Eucharist where there will be appropriate hymns and prayers. The Archbishop will also sign the Book of Condolence.
On Saturday 17th September at 5.30pm a special commemorative service of Choral Evensong will be held for the late Queen. All are invited.
On Sunday 18th September, a civic commemoration service in the nave of York Minster will take place at 4.00pm. All are invited.
Information about leaving floral tributes can be found here.
Next phase of College Green works to begin
College Green, an open green space located within the York Minster precinct, will be closed to the public from next Monday (12th September), until Easter 2022, to allow phase two of the scheme approved by City of York Council in December 2021 and delivered in partnership with York Minster, York BID, and Make It York.
The delivery of the College Green improvements will provide a revitalised public space in the city centre, cared for by York Minster’s gardeners. Alongside extensive planting and landscaping, it will involve the installation of a stone feature bench and the introduction of accessible seating.
Forming part of the York Minster Neighbourhood Plan, which was recently adopted by City of York Council, the works will help meet the overall Neighbourhood Plan objectives of “greening the precinct” by maintaining and enhancing biodiversity.
Phase 1 of the project included the removal of trees which had reached the end of their lives and were replaced by eight new cherry trees, creating a tree-lined walkway which will become a focal point in the spring and autumn each year.
Native species of wildflower will also be planted to provide an additional food source for butterflies and bees.
Alex McCallion, Director of Works and Precinct at York Minster, said: “Set against the backdrop of the Minster, College Green is a stunning location in York City Centre, and we’re excited to begin phase two of our plans to further enhance our public realm. The success of the recent ‘pop up’ parks hosted by York BID and other stakeholders have demonstrated what an important space College Green is for the city. However, the space is not currently fulfilling the potential that it has to offer a unique, family-friendly place for contemplation and enjoyment.
“Through increasing the provision of accessible seating and providing additional permanent stone seating for the area, we seek to provide a high-quality green space for both residents and visitors to enjoy, further cementing the Minster’s reputation as a lynchpin of cultural identity and daily life in the city of York.”
Andrew Lowson, Director or York BID, said: “We’re thrilled to see the next phase of College Green come to fruition and we’re proud to have been the driving force behind this project. College Green is an excellent example of how effective partnership working delivers better outcomes for the city, and the BID would like to thank the teams at York Minster and PWP Design for bringing this project to life.”
The project is an example of a true city partnership and funded by Chapter of York, York Minster Fund, Friends of York Minster York BID, and Make It York.
For more information on the Neighbourhood Plan, please visit: https://yorkminster.org/about-us/master-planning/.
Could your child be a chorister at York Minster?
York school pupils currently in Year 3, who love singing, are encouraged to audition for a place in York Minster’s world-famous choir and the chance to be educated at St Peter’s School, York, the choir school for York Minster since September 2020. Formal singing experience is not required.
Children joining the choir, which is made up of 16 boys, 16 girls and 12 adult singers, will be part of an internationally-renowned team of singers whose voices are an essential part of worship at the cathedral. The choristers are trained by Robert Sharpe, Director of Music at York Minster.
Choristers perform at services, high profile occasions, events and concerts. They will also have the opportunity to take part in broadcasts for national media organisations such as BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM, to be involved in recordings for classical music labels, and to tour abroad.
York Minster’s choristers receive an outstanding education at St Peter’s School. The Chapter of York provides a substantial scholarship for each chorister towards school fees. Additional means-tested bursaries may potentially increase the level of funding to 100%
Robert Sharpe explained that the process aims to identify children with musicality and potential, rather than recruiting fully formed singers. He said:
“There will be many parents in and around York with a son or daughter who just loves singing and who may be searching for ways to nurture their child’s ability. Becoming a chorister at York Minster is an excellent way to harness a child’s musical talent. Energy, enthusiasm and humour are just as important as musical talent.
“In addition to developing their musical skills, chorister training helps children to develop lifelong skills such as self-discipline, organisational skills, concentration, poise and attention to detail. Choristers are educated at St Peter’s School which shares a common foundation of 627AD with the Minster, and is the fourth oldest school in the world.
“This is a unique opportunity for a child to have a superb education and to play a part in the life of one of the most important and beautiful cathedrals in the world.”
Commenting on the auditions, Jeremy Walker, Head Master of St Peter’s School York said:
“The wonderful experience of being a chorister at York Minster, combined with an outstanding education at St Peter’s, offers excellent and often life-changing opportunities for girls and boys with musical talents and interests. I have first-hand appreciation of the incredible experience this provides, as a former chorister parent myself and Head Master of two cathedral choir schools, and encourage you and your families to find out more and consider an application.”
The new choristers will join York Minster Choir from September 2023.
About the 2023 Chorister Auditions
York Minster’s 2023 Chorister Auditions will be held in the week commencing 16 January 2023 at St Peter’s School, Clifton, York YO30 6AB. The deadline for applications is 31 December 2022. For an application pack and more details, contact Sara Bath, Master’s PA, on 01904 527391 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
York Minster’s pioneering Centre of Excellence plans receive council approval
York Minster’s plans to establish world class campus facilities for research, education and training in ancient craft skills have been approved by City of York Council.
The Centre of Excellence for Heritage Craft Skills and Estate Management will be a first-of-its-kind project encouraging learning and knowledge sharing on an international scale.
Comprising a Heritage Quad and a Works and Technology Hub, the Centre of Excellence will allow current and prospective apprentices to learn cutting-edge digital techniques such as modern saw technology, data scanning and computer aided design. It will also enable the Minster to offer international exchange programmes with cathedrals and universities as far afield as Milan, Washington and Singapore, to enable the further development of these skills.
Existing buildings within the Precinct will be sustainably reordered, repurposed and renewed to provide new workspace and associated facilities, enable greater engagement and interaction with the public around key crafts and trades and allow improved links with education. Through this, the Minster will also be able to offer dedicated residential accommodation for its first and second-year apprentices, as well as for its international exchange visitors and trainees.
Alex McCallion, Director of Works and Precinct at York Minster, said: “We are delighted that our pioneering plans for preserving the ancient craft skills necessary to secure the future of the Minster have received approval from City of York Council. These skills have long been the lifeblood to the fabric of York Minster and the creation of the Centre of Excellence will enable us to continue to develop and pass down these skills with the help of modern digital technology.
“We thank City of York Council for recognising the importance of the Centre of Excellence, the establishment of which will be crucial in allowing us to safeguard the Minster’s long-term environmental, financial and heritage sustainability for future generations to enjoy as we do today. This is also a major project for the city and will continue to raise our profile not only as a leading international city for heritage and education, but also a city that is forward looking.”
The £5m fully funded project is being co-ordinated by the York Minster Fund, and is expected to be delivered in early 2024.
The plans form the next stage of the implementation of the York Minster 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 Victorian era. The York Minster Refectory, Minster Garden and the conversion of Church House to residential accommodation are all underway, having received planning permission earlier in the year.
Richard Shaw, Chairman of York Minster Fund (YMF), said: “The Centre of Excellence is the culmination of a three year research and development project, which benchmarked the Minster against other heritage sites around the world. With sustainability at its heart, the Centre of Excellence vision will allow us to maintain and enhance the cultural significance of the Minster.
Not only will the Centre of Excellence create opportunities for education and knowledge exchange on a local, national and international level, but it will also act as a shining example of best practice in managing and preserving complex heritage estates.
We are delighted that the City of York Council is supporting this project and we are pleased to announce that purchase orders worth over £600,000 have now been placed for key machinery to be housed in the Technology Hub.”