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A £10,000 funding award for York Minster from the Scientists in Congregations Programme

York Minster has been awarded £10,000 to develop new learning trails that will reveal how science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), helped to build the 800 year-old medieval cathedral.

The Minster is one of ten worship communities to receive funds under the Scientists in Congregations programme, run by Equipping Christian Leadership in an Age of Science. The successful projects span a range of denominations and ecumenical networks.

York Minster’s project – ‘Cathedral Thinking’ STEM Trails – will see the development of a suite of learning trails for children, families, school groups, visitors and worshippers highlighting how the building, its history, use and origins can be navigated via science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The Revd Canon Victoria Johnson, York Minster’s Precentor, was a Cancer Research scientist before ordination and has worked at the interface of science and religion for many years. She believes that science can help people to engage with the Christian faith in new and creative ways.  Canon Victoria said: “There is a scientific underpinning for almost everything that you find at York Minster:  the stunning geometry of the Chapter House roof and the Rose Window; the ancient stone and stained glass right, through to the contemporary structures such as the spectacular new Centre of Excellence that we are developing as part of the York Minster Neighbourhood Plan.

“We will use the Scientists in Congregations award to develop a set of exciting learning trails focused on key themes such as Astronomy, Light and Colour, Ecology, Engineering and Geometry.  Visitors will be able to explore trails both inside and outside stopping at stations and points of interest to learn how science, technology, engineering and mathematics helped to build York Minster.”

This is the fifth round of Scientists in Congregations awards. Since 2014, over 80 churches have received £750,000 through the Scientists in Congregations programme (including the latest round).

Scientists in Congregations is administered by Equipping Christian Leadership in an Age of Science (ECLAS). ECLAS is led from St John’s College, Durham University in partnership with the University of York and the Church of England. ECLAS, and the Scientists in Congregations grants, are funded by the Templeton Religion Trust.

The Revd Prof David Wilkinson, ECLAS Project Co-Director, said: “We are thrilled to support church leaders to explore how science can enrich and expand our view of faith.

“These Scientists in Congregations projects imaginatively demonstrate how science is at the heart of Christian faith, recognising it as a gift from God and recognising the vocation of scientists.”

The full list of churches and organisations receiving funding to participate in Scientists in Congregations 2022-23 is:

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Double Consecration at York Minster

The Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell will preside at a double Consecration service at York Minster on Friday 15th July at 11am.

The Reverend Canon Arun Arora, Vicar of St Nicholas Church, Durham, and Honorary Canon of Durham Cathedral will be consecrated as the Suffragan Bishop of Kirkstall, in the Diocese of Leeds. The Revd Canon Arun succeeds The Right Reverend Paul Slater following his retirement.

The Reverend Canon Robert Saner-Haigh, Residentiary Canon of Newcastle Cathedral and Director of Mission and Ministry for the Diocese of Newcastle, will be consecrated as the next Suffragan Bishop of Penrith in the Diocese of Carlisle. The Revd Canon Robert succeeds The Right Reverend Dr Emma Ineson, following her appointment in April 2021, as the Bishop to the Archbishops of Canterbury and York.

Arun and Robert will be consecrated in front of family and friends who will be attending the first full consecration service at York Minster since March 2020.  The Choir of York Minster will perform at the service.  The service will be live streamed.

Commenting on the double consecration service, Archbishop Stephen said:  “Bishops are ordained to service in God’s church, participating in God’s mission, and encouraging and enabling the ministry of the whole of the people of God. They are the lead pastors and lead evangelists in the diocese – caring for their clergy and building up the Kingdom of God, preaching justice and peace for all. Please pray for Arun and Rob as they take up their new roles, pray for their families and pray for the communities among whom they will minister and serve.”

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Sung Eucharist attended by the General Synod of the Church of England Sunday 10th July at York Minster

Officers and members of the General Synod of the Church of England will attend the Sung Eucharist service at York Minster at 11am on Sunday 10th July for the first time since March 2020. The General Synod’s July meeting will take place in York from 8 -12 July.

The Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell will preside at the service.  The sermon will be given by Archbishop Julio E Murray, Primate of the Anglican Church in Central America.  The Choir of York Minster will perform at the service.

The Revd Canon Dr Victoria Johnson, Precentor at York Minster said:  “We are delighted that the General Synod of the Church of England will join with the worshipping community here at York Minster to pray and break bread together. Worship transforms us as individuals and as a community, we belong to one another through worship, we become the people God wants us to be through worship and our faith in God is shaped through our worship. We pray that through our worship on this day, the mission and vision of the whole church may be enlivened and encouraged.”

The Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell said:  “It will be so good to welcome the General Synod of the Church of England back to York after a three year gap, and especially to York Minster itself.

“None of our business makes sense except that it is rooted in our worship of God, our fellowship around the table of the Lord, and the nourishment of word and sacrament.”

Synod members and officers will be among the first to view a spectacular, newly installed artwork at York Minster. ‘Faith and Fracture’ a large scale art installation inspired by the Church of England’s “Living in Love and Faith” project which will be on display at York Minster from mid-July to mid-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.

Later that day, Synod members and officers will be invited to attend a special Evensong Service at 4pm celebrating 25 years of girl choristers at York Minster.  Former girl choristers will sing alongside the current group of girl choristers and the adult singers of York Minster for the celebratory service. The guest preacher will be the Bishop of Whitby, Paul Ferguson, who was Precentor of York Minster 25 years ago when the first group of girl choristers gave their debut performance at the Minster.

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Annual Report and Accounts 2021

The Chapter of York, the governing body for York Minster, today published its Annual Report and Accounts for 2021.  Whilst the continuing impact of the Covid pandemic once again created extremely challenging economic conditions, the boom in UK staycation holidays contributed to hopeful signs of recovery at York Minster.

The return of paying visitors, together with healthy retail sales, helped to reduce the cathedral’s year end deficit at 31 December 2021 to £805,000 – a significant deficit reduction from the previous year.

After intermittent periods of permitted re-opening for worship and limited visiting, a new wave of Covid resulted in the complete closure of the Minster from December 2020 until 17 May 2021. The cathedral reopened with strict Covid-secure measures in place, an online-only booking system for general admissions and more online worship opportunities so that people could continue to worship from home.

The Accounts to the year ended 31 December 2021 show a net deficit of £805,000 before taking into account any gains and losses on investments.  This compares to a deficit of £2,304,000 in 2020, the first year of the pandemic.

Incoming resources amounted to £7,143,000 in 2021 (£6,484,000 in 2020).  The £659,000 increase was principally due to a moderate recovery in visitor income (from £868,000 in 2020 to £2,025,000 in 2021) and a notable increase in shop income (£726,000 compared to £344,000 in 2020).  Whilst hugely encouraging, the full recovery of the visitor business will take time: at 226,700 the 2021 visitor figure is 60% behind the 2019 level.

Total expenditure on mission was £7,948,000 (£8,788,000 in 2020) a decrease of £840,000 on the previous year. This was largely due to the lack of learning and outreach activities such as school visits and the absence of costs relating to the Minster School which closed in July 2020, due to the impact of the pandemic.

Chapter recorded a gain on investments of almost £3.3m in 2021 (up £335k on 2020).  However, much of this has been lost in the first months of 2022 due to stock market volatility, inflationary pressures, energy prices, the continuing impact of Covid in China and the global economic shock caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

These investments, together with Chapter’s property portfolio, have a total book value of £42.5m and are held for the long term. Income derived from them contributes to the revenue needed for the day-to-day operation and maintenance of York Minster and its precincts.

The Revd Canon Michael Smith, Acting Dean of York said:  “The tough decisions taken by Chapter in 2020, were vital in securing the cathedral’s future.  Those decisions have put us on the right track:  although we still finished 2021 with a deficit, it was much reduced on the previous year. We are in no doubt: there is still considerable work to do.  Careful stewardship of the cathedral’s resources will remain a priority for many years.

“We also continued to develop and work on the York Minster Precinct Neighbourhood Plan – a trail-blazing, collaborative community project led by the York Minster Neighbourhood Forum.  The plan sets out a 15-year route map to create a sustainable future for the cathedral and its seven-hectare estate. It will carry significant weight in the determination of future planning applications within the Minster Precinct.  The plan was voted through in a community referendum in May and formally ratified by City of York Council. Its delivery will herald the biggest planned programme of works within the Minster Precinct for 150 years.

“This Annual Report and Accounts tell the story of an organisation still recovering from the impact of the global pandemic.  The return of worshippers, visitors and the local community in such great numbers for worship, services, events and exhibitions has been joyous. We are cautiously optimistic for the future but we are in no doubt that recovery will take time.”


The document, ‘York Minster Annual Report and Accounts 2021’ is available here. 

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York Minster Neighbourhood Plan is formally adopted

Following a vote by City of York Council’s Executive, the Neighbourhood Plan prepared by the York Minster Neighbourhood Forum has been formally adopted.

The plan sets out a 15-year route map to create a sustainable future for York Minster and its seven-hectare estate, and will carry significant weight in the determination of future planning applications within the Minster Precinct.

Having been voted through in a community referendum of all residents on the electoral register within the Minster Precinct Neighbourhood Area last month, the council voted last night to formally ratify the plan.

This pioneering approach to planning signals the first time that a Neighbourhood Plan has been used to map the future care of a cathedral or heritage estate, and its delivery will herald the biggest planned programme of works within the Minster Precinct Neighbourhood Area in 150 years.

The first stage of the Neighbourhood Plan includes the creation of an internationally renowned Centre of Excellence for the heritage craft skills responsible for the continued care of the Minster.

If approved, this will offer apprentices from the Minster and its network of international partners the opportunity to further develop their skills through cutting-edge digital techniques such as modern saw technology, data scanning and computer aided design.

Alex McCallion, Director of Works & Precinct at York Minster, said: “We are delighted that our trailblazing approach to planning has now been formally adopted by City of York Council, and want to thank our partners at the York Minster Fund and the York Minster Neighbourhood Forum, as well as the local community, for their support in helping to make this a reality.

“The Neighbourhood Plan will be crucial for allowing us to safeguard the Minster, creating a sustainable future for this hugely significant religious, historic and architectural monument, not just for York, but for millions around the world.”

Mark Calvert, Chair of the York Minster Neighbourhood Forum, said: “The York Minster Neighbourhood Plan is a genuinely community-led plan which intimately understands the complexities and sensitivities of planning for change both in a heritage setting and in a historic city such as York.

“It is the culmination of four years of hard work and extensive consultations, and with its official ratification, we are very proud to be leading the way for other heritage organisations to follow.”

Cllr Ashley Mason, Executive Member for Economy and Strategic Planning at City of York Council, added: “We have worked collaboratively with the Minster and its Neighbourhood Forum over a number of years to develop this pioneering Neighbourhood Plan and are pleased to support its formal adoption.

“The plan is truly unique in rooting itself in heritage to safeguard one of our city’s most significant and well known areas, whilst also embracing next generation technology and skills.

“The Minster is enormously important to York and, through delivery of the Neighbourhood Plan, we hope to work with our partners to cement its future for many generations to come.”

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York Minster announces organ recital series to celebrate Grand Organ’s return following £2m refurbishment

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.


The inaugural recital series will take place on Thursday evenings from 21 July to 18 August and feature world-renowned organists including leading American performer Nathan Laube, acclaimed and much sought-after organist, David Briggs, and one of Britain’s most outstanding concert organists, Margaret Phillips.


York Minster’s own acclaimed musicians – Robert Sharpe, Director of Music, and Benjamin Morris, Assistant Director of Music, who are both experienced soloists performing in the UK and abroad – complete the line-up.


The Grand Organ returned to use at the cathedral in March 2021 following the multi-million pound refurbishment – the first of its kind since 1903 – but the inaugural recital series to celebrate its return was delayed to summer 2022 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.


The recitals are part of a ‘Summer of Music’ at the cathedral which opens on Saturday 4 June with a Jubilee Gala Concert, followed by a spectacular Jazz Eucharist for St Peter’s Day (Wednesday 29 June) and a celebratory Choral Evensong on Sunday 10 July marking 25 years of girl choristers at York Minster.


Robert Sharpe said: “We’re thrilled to announce the line-up for this very special inaugural recital series following the completion of the once-in-a-century refurbishment of the instrument last spring.


“With the uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, we took the decision to delay the recitals until this summer to ensure people could experience the drama and poetry of the newly restored instrument in person.


“We have a line-up of exceptional organists for the series, and look forward to welcoming people to hear their performances in the setting of York Minster’s awe-inspiring Nave.”


Organist and programme details:


Thursday 21 July, 7pm – Nathan Laube

Nathan Laube’s extensive recital career includes major venues spanning four continents, with notable appearances at the Vienna Konzerthaus, the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie, the Berlin Philharmonie, the Sejong Center (Seoul), Royal Festival Hall (London), Maison Radio France (Paris), Auditorium Maurice Ravel (Lyon), Zaryadye Concert Hall (Moscow), Walt Disney Concert Hall (Los Angeles), Verizon Hall (Philadelphia), Maison Symphonique (Montréal), Notre-Dame Cathedral (Paris), and St. Paul’s Cathedral (London).  He is regularly called upon to inaugurate important new organs, including those of St. Stephen’s Cathedral (Vienna), King’s College Chapel (Cambridge, UK), Canterbury Cathedral (UK), York Minster (UK), the Gothenburg Concert Hall (Gothenburg, SE), Zaryadye Concert Hall (Moscow, RU), among others.

In April 2019, Mr. Laube launched the documentary-style radio program, “All the Stops,” on the WFMT Radio Network Chicago. His recording of the Stephen Paulus Grand Concerto with the Nashville Symphony and Giancarlo Guerrero, received a GRAMMY Award for Best Classical Compendium.  Mr. Laube currently serves on the organ faculty of the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York where he taught from 2013-2020.  From 2020-2022 Mr. Laube was professor of organ at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Stuttgart, Germany. He additionally holds the post of the International Consultant in Organ Studies at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.


Thursday 28 July, 7pm – Benjamin Morris

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.


Thursday 4 August, 7pm – David Briggs

David Briggs is an internationally renowned organist whose performances are acclaimed for their musicality, virtuosity, and ability to excite and engage audiences of all ages. Consistently ranked as one of the finest organists of his generation, David’s extensive repertoire spans five centuries. He has also become one of the foremost organ transcribers of symphonic works, thereby giving listeners the opportunity to experience the organ in a new way. He has transcribed orchestral compositions by Schubert, Tchaikovsky, Elgar, Bruckner, Ravel, and Bach as well as Mahler’s Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth symphonies. David performs more than 50 concerts a year and is also a prolific composer with his works ranging from full scale oratorios to works for solo instruments. He is currently Artist-in-Residence at the Cathedral of St John the Divine in New York City.


Thursday 11 August, 7pm – Margaret Phillips

One of Britain’s outstanding concert organists and teachers, Margaret Phillips studied with the late Ralph Downes and Marie-Claire Alain. From 1996 to 2021 she was Professor of Organ at the Royal College of Music in London, and in 2022 she was awarded the Medal of the Royal College of Organists, the highest honour given by the College. Her numerous CDs, which include the complete organ works of Bach, Mendelssohn, Saint-Saëns and Stanley, have been highly praised. In 1994, Margaret Phillips and her late husband founded the English Organ School and Museum in former chapel premises in Milborne Port, Somerset, where they have a small collection of organs by English organ builders from the eighteenth century to the present day.


Thursday 18 August, 7pm – Robert Sharpe

Robert Sharpe has been Director of York Music at York Minster since September 2008, having previously held posts at Truro Cathedral, Lichfield Cathedral, St Albans Abbey and Exeter College, Oxford.  His work centres around the daily choral tradition of York Minster with its two treble lines of boys and girls, both of which he trains, and in addition he performs frequently as an organ soloist and accompanist, having played in many parts of Europe and the USA as well as at major venues in the UK.  He has made numerous recordings with the choirs of Truro and York, all of which have received acclaim in the musical press.


Tickets for the recitals are available now via www.yorkminster.org priced at £12, with a combined ticket price of £50 for all five recitals. A concession ticket price of £5 for under-27s is also available.

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HRH The Princess Royal visits York Minster

HRH The Princess Royal, will today make a private visit to York Minster, following a busy morning of engagements in the city of York with 2 Signal Regiment.

Escorted by Brigadier Tim Watts (Retired), 2 Signal Regiment, The Princess Royal will be welcomed to York Minster by the Acting Dean of York, the Reverend Canon Michael Smith.

On arrival, Her Royal Highness will be invited to have a Regimental photograph with 2 Signal Regiment on the steps of the South entrance.

Once inside York Minster, The Princess Royal will meet members of the Chapter of York, 2 Signal Regiment, representatives from the Kohima Educational Trust and members of 37 Signal Regiment.

The Princess Royal will be invited to sign the Royal Corps of Signals visitors’ book and the York Minster’s visitors’ book.  Her Royal Highness will be presented with a posy by Master Leo Davidson (aged 11), son of Staff Sergeant Julius Davidson, Royal Corps of Signals.

Then, escorted by the Acting Dean of York, The Princess Royal will proceed to the South West compound.  The Reverend Canon Smith, will present Mr Richard Bossons, a member of the Minster’s team of stone masons.

Mr Bossons is the designer (and carver) of York Minster’s new statue of Her Majesty The Queen. Her Royal Highness will view progress on the statue which is due to be installed in an empty niche at the West Front of the cathedral in the autumn.

The Princess Royal will then depart York Minster.

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Celebrating 25 years of Girl Choristers at York Minster A Service of Thanksgiving – Sunday 10th July

A special service of Choral Evensong on Sunday 10th July at 4pm, will give thanks for 25 years of girl choristers at York Minster.  The cathedral has also issued an invitation to all former girl choristers to come and sing at the service.

In 1997, after an energetic campaign, York Minster introduced girl choristers into daily worshipping life, following the initial breakthrough for girls at Salisbury Cathedral in 1991.

Today, girls and boys contribute equally to the musical life of York Minster as part of one of the most respected cathedral choirs in the country. The choristers are educated at St Peter’s School, York, and range in age from 8-13 yrs. The Minster’s world-class choir and organists perform at services most days during term-time, with the repertoire ranging from some of the earliest known choral music, to newly commissioned works.

For this special occasion, all former girl choristers are being invited to come back to sing with the current girl choristers and adult singers of York Minster for this celebratory service. The guest preacher will be the Bishop of Whitby, Paul Ferguson, who was Precentor of York Minster 25 years ago when the first group of girl choristers gave their debut performance at the Minster.

Anne Norton made history as one of the singers in York Minster’s first group of girl choristers in 1997.  Anne said:  “It was a huge moment. For the first time we girls could sing in the Minster just like the boys. The experience of singing services, concerts and special events, such as the Mystery Plays, instilled in me a love of choral music which has lasted to this day. I still live in York and it gives me huge pleasure to attend services and hear the girls singing today. I am thrilled the Minster is celebrating this historic event.”

More recently, former chorister Naomi Simon, described how singing in the Choir of York Minster changed her life. Naomi said:  “Being a chorister completely transformed my life!  I have been able to travel internationally and work professionally.  My confidence has grown and last year I appeared on national television on the “BBC Chorister of the Year” programme and was recognised as one of the top five girl choristers in the country.  I am currently a Music Scholar at Rugby School which was enabled by being a York Minster Chorister.”

The current Precentor of York Minster, Canon Victoria Johnson said:  “This is an important anniversary in the musical life of York Minster. We are delighted that this is a place where all children can use their musical gifts to praise God in song.”

Robert Sharpe, Director of Music at York Minster said:  “We are hoping that generations of former choristers – hopefully including girls from that first group of choristers – will return to sing on this special day and celebrate their pioneering role in the history of music at York Minster.”

All former girl choristers of York Minster are warmly invited to sing at this special celebratory service.  Please email music@yorkminster.org for more information.

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Neighbourhood Plan gains public approval

York Minster’s trailblazing approach to planning for the long-term future care of the cathedral and its surrounding Precinct has received overwhelming public support.


Following a majority vote at a community referendum of all residents on the electoral register within the Minster Precinct Neighbourhood Area, the Minster’s Neighbourhood Plan will be adopted by City of York Council as part of the statutory development plan for the city of York.


As well as carrying significant weight in the determination of future planning applications within the designated Precinct, the Neighbourhood Plan will provide a 15-year route map through a policy-led approach to create a sustainable future for the Minster and its seven-hectare estate.


Delivery of the Neighbourhood Plan will signal the biggest programme of planned works at York Minster and within the Minster Precinct Neighbourhood Area in 150 years.


Alex McCallion, Director of Works & Precinct at York Minster, said: “We are thrilled about the referendum result and extremely grateful to everyone who voted.


“This is the first time a Neighbourhood Plan, prepared by the York Minster Neighbourhood Forum, has been used to map the future care of a cathedral or heritage estate. It sets out an ambitious masterplan to sustain and enhance the cultural significance and environmental value of York Minster’s Precinct and its buildings through specially created planning policy.


“The Neighbourhood Plan is crucial in not only meeting the ongoing restoration challenges we face but ensuring the Minster and its Precinct continue to flourish for generations to come. Sustainability sits at the heart of its aims for the next 15 years, specifically around three core strands of environmental, financial and heritage craft.”


Significantly, the Neighbourhood Plan will allow the Chapter of York to bring forward ground-breaking changes within a heritage estate at the York Minster Precinct.


Key projects include the Centre of Excellence for Heritage Craft Skills and Estate Management, the creation of new visitor facilities, a new public square and enhanced public realm and green spaces as well as a new discovery and learning centre, and museum.


Alex added: “The approach to our Neighbourhood Plan has been truly community led and will inspire others to follow as we become an exemplar for how heritage estates address not only their own futures but the wider challenges that they face, such as climate change.


“It is also enabling residents and those who work within the Minster Precinct to have a positive role in shaping the future of the area in which they live and work.”


Mark Calvert, Chair of the York Minster Neighbourhood Forum, said: “We have worked collaboratively with key stakeholders, including City of York Council and the local community to develop this Neighbourhood Plan. We are appreciative of their support and will continue to take a partnership approach as the Neighbourhood Plan is implemented and makes a positive impact on the community and wider city.”


The Revd. Canon Michael Smith, Acting Dean at York Minster, added: “On behalf of the Chapter of York, we are delighted with the result and the culmination of four years of work creating a bespoke planning policy document, against which all future planning applications in the Precinct will be determined. I would like to thank all members of the York Minster Neighbourhood Forum for their support, as well as everyone who voted to adopt the plan. This is a major milestone in securing a sustainable future for the Minster, and we look forward with excitement to continuing to work with key stakeholders and the local community as we progress with our vision.”

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Services and events at York Minster to mark the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty The Queen

York Minster today announced special services and events to mark the Platinum Jubilee of HM Queen Elizabeth II.

The Acting Dean of York, The Revd Canon Michael Smith said: “Celebrating the Platinum Jubilee gives the whole nation an opportunity to give thanks for the faithful witness and dedicated service of HM Queen Elizabeth II, a faithful disciple of Christ who has served her country for over 70 years.

“The Queen represents so much of what is good about our nation. She embodies the values of strength, loyalty and service, which, along with her abiding faith, should inspire us all to live together in a spirit of equity, mutual care and respect.

“In all that we do at the Minster over the Jubilee weekend we will be giving thanks for our Queen’s reign and for all that she has contributed, and continues to contribute, to the life of our nation.”

Stephen Cottrell, Archbishop of York said:  “As we prepare to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee on the first weekend in June, please may I encourage you to take full advantage of the opportunity this gives for us to draw our communities together, but also be part of the wider community celebrations that will be happening up and down the nation.

“This is an unprecedented historic occasion in the life of our nation.  I will be praying for Her Majesty, giving thanks for the example of her service from which we can all learn.  Join me in praying also for our nation, and for our life together, that God will bless us.”


From Saturday 14 May (until end of 2022)

New exhibition – Majesty: Monarchy and York Minster

The Platinum Jubilee celebrations commence with a new exhibition exploring York Minster’s ancient relationship with the monarchy. Starting with the coronation of King Edwin in a wooden church – the first York Minster – through to the distribution of The Royal Maundy money by HM The Queen in 2012, the exhibition includes items never before seen on public display including Great Seals used by monarchs to authenticate documents of state, a Bible signed by Elizabeth of York, wife of Henry VII, or possibly her granddaughter Queen Elizabeth I, Chinese silk gifted to Queen Victoria on her wedding day transformed into burses and veil for Holy Communion and footage from the Royal Wedding of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent to his Yorkshire bride, Katharine Worsley in York Minster in 1961.


Jubilee Day – Saturday 4 June


2pm – Lord Lieutenant and Archbishop of York’s Garden Party

Around 600 invited guests from across the county will attend a Garden Party hosted by The Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire, Mrs Johanna Ropner and The Most Revd and Right Honourable Stephen Cottrell, Archbishop of York, in the Deanery Garden at York Minster. The event is being held to thank members of the community for their voluntary service and in particular, their contributions during the pandemic.


5pm – Choral Evensong for the Jubilee

A special service of Choral Evensong with the Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire and the Archbishop of York giving thanks for 70 years of dedicated service by HM The Queen.  There will be special prayers, readings and celebratory music sung by the Choir of York Minster and the Archbishop of York will preach at the service. All are welcome and no booking is required.


7.30pm – Jubilee Gala Concert

York Minster’s associate choirs, The Ebor Singers and The Chapter House Choir will join the musicians of York Minster for a traditional jubilee celebration in the beautiful setting of the cathedral’s Nave. Accompanied by the cathedral’s spectacular, newly restored Grand Organ, the programme will feature popular coronation pieces, including Handel’s Zadok the Priest, alongside music associated with the royal family and York Minster, including pieces by Francis Jackson and Philip Moore. Tickets priced between £12 and £18.50, with a concession price of £5 for under-27s, are available at www.yorkminster.org.


Bells for the Jubilee

The bells of York Minster will ring out across the city throughout the Jubilee weekend.  The Minster’s volunteer bell ringers are planning a number of complex peal attempts to honour HM The Queen.


Family activities over the Platinum Jubilee Central Weekend


Get crafty in Dean’s Park

Thursday 2 and Friday 3 June, 10.00am – 3.00pm

Visit our activity marquee in Dean’s Park over the jubilee weekend. Take part in colouring activities or ‘Become a Royal’ with a photo opportunity inspired by the cathedral’s Kings’ Screen. The activities are free of charge and available on a drop in basis, no need to book.

Saturday Mornings at York Minster

Saturday 4 June at 10.00am

Our popular drop in sessions for families return with a jubilee twist. The sessions run throughout the year and explore the seasons in the Christian calendar with a different interactive opportunity each time including craft workshops, sensory activities, music and worship.

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New exhibition showcases royal treasures from York Minster’s historic collection

York Minster’s centuries-old relationship with the monarchy is the subject of a new exhibition showcasing royal treasures from the Minster’s historic collection opening on Saturday 14 May as part of the celebrations of HM Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee.

The exhibition traces the influence of the monarchy 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 Queen Elizabeth II’s glorious return to the cathedral to attend the Royal Maundy Service in 2012.  These royal events have shaped life and worship at York Minster over the centuries.

Running until the end of 2022, 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 Great Seals used to authenticate important documents by previous monarchs; a Minster Police wooden truncheon emblazoned with the keys of St Peter, for York Minster, under a crown, signifying royal authority; and a Bible signed by Elizabeth of York, wife of Henry VII, or possibly her granddaughter Queen Elizabeth I.

Other highlights include footage from the royal wedding of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent to his Yorkshire bride Katharine Worsley in York Minster in 1961 and Chinese silk gifted to Queen Victoria on her wedding day transformed into burses and veils used in preparation for the celebration of Holy Communion.

The exhibition showcases the range of York Minster’s nationally important collections, with a focus on local connections. From the ancient ‘coronation chair’ of York Minster, once believed to have been used in the coronation of Anglo-Saxon kings and more recently in the enthronement of the Archbishops of York, to Maundy money distributed in York by HM Queen Elizabeth II and a dialect poem celebrating the coronation of Queen Victoria, it offers insights into the royal history of York Minster.

York Minster is renowned for its choir and music, and also on display will be a rare manuscript part-book, compiled for the choir of York Minster in the 18th century, featuring Handel’s magnificent anthem ‘Zadok the Priest’, written for the enthronement of George III and performed at the coronation of every British monarch since.  The brilliantly coloured cope worn by Thomas Secker, Archbishop of Canterbury, to officiate at George III’s coronation draws the eye.

Younger visitors will also have the chance to try on regal robes, bear a crown and sceptre, and pose for a majestic photograph showing off their best royal wave.

Helen Rawson, Head of Heritage at York Minster, explains: “Since King Edwin of Northumbria converted to Christianity in 627 AD and ordered the construction of a small wooden church for his baptism, the first York Minster, the cathedral has had strong royal connections.  It was the site of the wedding of Edward III and Philippa of Hainault in 1328, while Richard III’s son Edward was invested as Prince of Wales in 1483 in a glorious ceremony in the adjacent old Archbishop’s Palace.

“These associations have continued over the centuries with Queen Elizabeth II’s mother, then Duchess of York, attending the re-dedication of the famous medieval Five Sisters window in memory of the women who died in service of the British Empire during the First World War, while her husband the Duke of York, later George VI, unveiled the York City War Memorial.”

The exhibition is part of a series of activities at York Minster to celebrate HM Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee. For further details go to our What’s On page.

The exhibition will be open from Saturday 14 May during normal visiting times, currently Monday to Saturday 9.30am – 4pm and Sunday 12.45pm – 3.15pm. Entry is included with a standard admission ticket and entry to the Minster is free for York residents with valid proof of address.

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Permission granted for Church House conversion at York Minster

Plans to change the use of Church House at York Minster Precinct from office to residential accommodation have been approved.


Following the decision by City of York Council’s planning committee, Church House, at 10-14 Ogleforth, will be converted into 11 apartments.


As part of the approved planning conditions, York Minster has committed to ensuring that a proportion of the apartments will be offered as affordable accommodation through the Government’s Build to Rent scheme.


Income generated from the apartments, which will all be offered as rental accommodation, will be used for the ongoing care of the Minster, including the restoration of the cathedral’s precious medieval stained glass windows.


Church House was previously used as the principal offices for the Chapter of York, the governing body of York Minster. The Chapter is set to relocate to St William’s College at the Precinct, which has previously secured planning permission and listed building consent for its restoration.


Alex McCallion, Director of Works and Precinct at York Minster, said: “The approval of our plans at Church House is not only good news for York Minster Precinct but also for York itself, as it will deliver much needed affordable housing, secured in perpetuity through the planning process, in the city centre.


“Additionally, income generated from the rental properties will provide an important source of revenue to contribute to the care of the Minster, which costs £22,000 a day to operate.


“Specifically, this will enable work to begin to conserve and protect an at risk thirteenth century stained glass window in the south nave of the Minster for the enjoyment of future generations. We are grateful to City of York Council for its ongoing support.”


Work to convert Church House, including landscaping, bicycle store and a new ramped access boundary wall and gate, is expected to be completed by late summer 2023.


The granting of planning permission follows the recent submission of plans to establish the York Minster Precinct as a world class campus facility for research, education and training in ancient craft skills.


The Centre of Excellence for Heritage Craft Skills and Estate Management will bring benefits including continuing the craft of stonemasonry and encouraging global learning and knowledge sharing, as well as being a shining example of best practice in managing complex heritage estates.


The plans, designed by acclaimed architectural practice Tonkin Liu, have been submitted to City of York Council for the development of two sites – The Heritage Quad and The Works and Technology Hub.


The £5m fully funded project has been made possible through the generous support of the York Minster Fund.


The vision for the Centre of Excellence is a key element of the York Minster Precinct Neighbourhood Plan, which sets out a policy-led approach to creating a sustainable future for the Minster and its seven hectare estate.


The draft Plan has recently been through independent examination and City of York Council’s Executive and will now proceed to a community referendum of all residents on the electoral register within the Minster Precinct Neighbourhood Area on May 10. If passed, it will be adopted by City of York Council as part of the statutory development plan for the city.

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