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Spectacular services, The Nutcracker, Christmas Trees and Jethro Tull: Advent and Christmas at York Minster

Celebrate Advent and Christmas at York Minster with traditional festive services, much-loved seasonal music and concerts, a festival of Christmas trees, a new production of The Nutcracker for families and a concert by Ian Anderson’s legendary Jethro Tull.

The season begins on Advent Sunday (3 December), with the spectacular Advent Procession service. Starting in complete darkness, the cathedral is gradually illuminated by candlelight as the Choir of York Minster moves through the building to readings from the Old Testament, setting the scene for the Christmas story.  Daily worship and Evensong services throughout Advent and Christmas will include prayers, music and readings for the season.

Christmas week worship includes the Crib Service (23 December), Nine Lessons and Carols (23 and 24 December) and Midnight Mass (24 December).  The Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, will preside at the Eucharist of Christmas Day at 11am (25 December).

The ever-popular annual Christmas Carol Concerts will take place on 7 and 8 December, with readings by actor David Bradley (Harry Potter, Game of Thrones), and music by the Choir of York Minster and the Yorkshire Volunteer Band.

On Saturday 9 December, York Minster will present a magical new performance of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker. Children (and adults alike) will love the narration by local children’s actor Gemma Sharp (Artistic Director of local theatre company Hoglets), and the artistry of Benjamin Morris, York Minster’s Assistant Director of Music, who will bring Tchaikovsky’s music to life on the cathedral’s spectacular Grand Organ.

York Minster will host a unique musical experience on Saturday 18 December, when folk rock legend Ian Anderson presents Christmas with Jethro Tull in the Minster’s stunning Nave. He performs in cathedrals across the country each year, donating the ticket sales to the care and conservation of the cathedral buildings.

From 2 December (until 5 January 2024), York Minster’s Christmas Tree festival returns with 60 trees, individually decorated by local businesses, schools and charities on display in the Chapter House, the Nave and the Lady Chapel.

York Minster’s Advent and Christmas programme is set out below. For booking information visit www.yorkminster.org or call our Bookings Office on 01904 557200.


York Minster’s Advent and Christmas Programme 2023


Evensong – Sunday 26 November, 4pm

Johann Sebastian Bach’s Cantata 140, Sleepers, wake

On the Sunday before Advent, the Choir of York Minster gives its traditional annual Evensong performance of Bach’s popular Cantata 140, ‘Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme’ (Sleepers, wake), with orchestral accompaniment.


York Minster Christmas Tree Festival – Saturday 2 December – Friday 5 January during general admission times

York Minster Christmas Tree Festival returns for the third year with 60 trees on display in the cathedral’s stunning Nave, Chapter House and Lady Chapel.


Advent Procession – Sunday 3 December, 5.30pm. Free, pre-booked tickets required.

On Advent Sunday, York Minster gradually emerges from darkness into full candlelight in the stunning and atmospheric Advent Procession.  The Choir of York Minster will process through the cathedral to music, readings and prayers.


Christmas Carol Concerts – Thursday 7 and Friday 8 December, 7pm

The Choir of York Minster will perform much-loved Christmas music, with seasonal readings from special guest David Bradley and music by the Yorkshire Volunteer Band.


The Nutcracker at York Minster – Saturday 9 December

First performance 2pm – 3pm

Second performance 7pm – 8pm

A magical new performance of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker from York Minster for children and adults alike.  Narration by local children’s actor Gemma Sharp (Artistic Director of local theatre company Hoglets), and music by Benjamin Morris, York Minster’s Assistant Director of Music, who will bring Tchaikovsky’s music to life on the cathedral’s spectacular Grand Organ.


Sankta Lucia: Festival of Light – Monday 11 December, 7.30pm

An atmospheric, candlelit procession and carol service based on the traditional Swedish Lucia celebration. The service is run in partnership with the York Anglo-Scandinavian Society.


Chapter House Choir ‘Carols by Candlelight’ – Saturday 16 December, 7.30pm

The choir continues to build on its reputation as one of the North of England’s finest chamber choirs, under the leadership of Musical Director Benjamin Morris. The Chapter House Choir will be joined by the Chapter House Youth Choir.



Ian Anderson presents ‘Christmas with Jethro Tull’ – Monday 18 December, 7.30pm.

Experience folk-rock legend Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull in the awe-inspiring setting of York Minster this Christmas. Hear some of the best-known repertoire of Jethro Tull alongside traditional seasonal church and classical music for a moment of pre-Christmas madness, goodness and togetherness.


Crib Service – Saturday 23 December, 11.30am. Free, pre-booked tickets required.

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


Nine Lessons and Carols

Saturday 23 December and Sunday 24 December, 4pm. Free, pre-booked tickets required.   

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.


Midnight Mass – Sunday 24 December, 11.30pm

Experience the First Eucharist of Christmas with Communion, Blessing of the Crib and choral music sung by the St William’s Singers.


Christmas Day services – Monday 25 December

York Minster celebrates the arrival of Jesus Christ, light of the world.


8am: Holy Communion from the Book of Common Prayer

10am: Choral Matins sung by the Choir of York Minster

11am: Sung Eucharist sung by the Choir of York Minster, with sermon by the Archbishop of York.

4pm: Choral Evensong sung by the Choir of York Minster.


New Year’s Eve bells – Sunday 31 December

York Minster’s Bellringers will ring in the new year as the clock strikes midnight.


The Eucharist for the Feast of the Epiphany – Saturday 6 January 2024, 5.30pm

A special service to mark the Feast of the Epiphany with music by St Peter’s Cathedral Choir, Adelaide, Australia.



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 from 9.30am – 5pm offering a range of bespoke gifts inspired by the cathedral alongside seasonal items including nativity sets and advent calendars and candles.

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York Minster opens new ‘Minster Gardens’ ahead of bank holiday weekend

‘Minster Gardens’ has been opened to the public by the Dean of York for the city and visitors to enjoy following the completion of works. The new gardens feature a spectacular view of the cathedral and include extensive lawns, wildflower planting and new benches set in landscaped borders. The gardens will also include a drinking fountain for members of the public to refill their water bottles and is adjacent to extensive cycle parking and the new cycle maintenance point. The planting has been selected especially to attract bees and increase biodiversity within the Precinct. The gardens were designed by Re-Form Landscape Architects as part of the wider development of the York Minster Refectory which opened in April.

His Majesty King Charles III unveiled an official ledger stone to mark the creation of the new gardens following the Royal Maundy at York Minster on 6 April 2023 and this has been set into the main entrance. The ledger stone was carved by Richard Bossons, the Minster stonemason who designed and created the statue of the late Queen which now stands on the West Front of the Minster. Minster Gardens will be open daily from 07:30 to 17:30.  All are welcome to enjoy this new greenspace.

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York Minster to host special performances of Peter and the Wolf to introduce children to classical music

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

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

Prokofiev’s familiar and accessible composition is the perfect introduction to classical music. During the performance, children are encouraged to sit on cushions and rugs at the front of the Nave to get the best possible view of the organ. The performance will last 30 minutes and is suitable for those aged 5 to 95.

Ben Morris, Assistant Director of Music at York Minster, said: “We are thrilled to be welcoming people of all ages into the cathedral to experience the magnificent sound of our Grand Organ. Peter and the Wolf uses vivid musical motifs to introduce children to classical music in a fun and accessible way.”

The performances will take place on Wednesday 31 May and Thursday 1 June at 7.30pm and will last approximately 30 minutes.

Tickets are now available via York Minster’s website and cost £8 for an adult and £6 for a child. A family ticket of £22 for two adults and two children is also available.

Tickets can also be booked by contacting the York Minster Box Office on 01904 557200.

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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/.

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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.

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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.


Mindful Minster

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.


Sensory Saturday

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.

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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.

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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.”

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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/.  

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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/.

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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.

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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.

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