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York Minster’s Grinling Gibbons Exhibition to launch with a message from HRH The Prince of Wales

An audio message from His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales at Evensong on Sunday 1 August, will launch Grinling Gibbons: Monuments to Glory, York Minster’s year-long exhibition marking the beginning of nationwide tercentenary celebrations for the life, work and legacy of the extraordinary decorative carver who died on 3 August 1721.

The photographic exhibition is part of Grinling Gibbons 300 – Carving a Place in History – a national programme of festivals and events led by the Grinling Gibbons Society to mark the three hundredth anniversary of his death.

The exhibition and sculpture trail tell the story of Gibbons’ life, from his birth to English parents in Rotterdam in 1648, his early exposure to Flemish and Dutch sculpture styles, his time in York where he mastered English carving and sculpture traditions and the move to London which in 1693 culminated, in his appointment as master sculptor and carver in wood to William III.

Gibbons completed three notable commissions for York Minster during his lifetime:  stone monuments of three Archbishops of York:  Sterne (1664-1683), Dolben (1683-1686) and Lamplugh (1688-1691). The exhibition places these monuments in the context of his life and wider work. Gibbons’ work can today be seen in palaces, churches, museums and some of the country’s great historic houses.

In his message, The Prince of Wales, who is patron of both the York Minster Fund and the Grinling Gibbons Society, pays tribute to the exceptional talent and craft of Gibbons and to the generations of wood and stone carvers who have followed in his footsteps. York Minster’s current generation of carvers and stonemasons are currently working to repair and replace decaying and eroded masonry on the cathedral’s 600-year old St Cuthbert Window.

In his message, His Royal Highness says: “This evening marks the beginning of this year of tercentenary celebrations and allows me to express my support for two organizations of which I have recently become Patron – the Grinling Gibbons Society and the York Minster Fund.

“As we celebrate the three hundredth anniversary of this incomparably talented craftsman, we must also celebrate and pay tribute to all the magnificent craftsmen and women who have followed in his wake, and continue to do so today, leaving us with such a magnificent legacy in York Minster and beyond.”

Commenting on the exhibition, Neil Sanderson, Director of the York Minster Fund said:  “Gibbons was a master craftsman, a celebrity in his own lifetime, a towering figure whose influence is reflected every day here at York Minster in the work of our team of expert carvers and masons who lovingly protect, repair and restore this magnificent cathedral.

“We are delighted that His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales has agreed to champion the memory and the legacy of this remarkable man and highlight his achievements to contemporary audiences.”

An audio-visual version of the message from His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, will go live on the Minster’s You Tube page and social media accounts on Sunday 1 August at 5.45pm.

The photographic exhibition and sculpture trail Grinling Gibbons:  Monuments to Glory will be at York Minster from 1 August 2021 until 31 July 2022.   Entry is free with general admission.

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York Minster pays tribute to HRH The Duke of Edinburgh

The Dean of York, The Right Revd Dr Jonathan Frost, has issued the following prayer on the announcement of the death of His Royal Highness, The Duke of Edinburgh.

Eternal God, our Heavenly Father,
We bless your holy name for all that you have given us, in and through the life of Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
We give you thanks for his long and full life:  for his strength of character, for his devotion to family, Nation and Commonwealth.
We give you thanks for the encouragement he gave to so many and especially the young.
We pray for Her Majesty the Queen and the Royal Family in their grief, that they might know the comfort of your love. 
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen

The Dean also confirmed the following arrangements at York Minster for today, Friday 9th April.

3pm: The Great Peter Bell will be tolled 99 times marking the years of the late HRH Duke of Edinburgh’s life.

3.30pm: York Minster will open for private prayer, reflection and for the lighting of candles. Please note that capacity inside the Minster will be limited in line with the current Covid restrictions.
Floral tributes may be brought to Dean’s Park where they will be placed close to the Five Sisters Window.  Dean’s Park will remain open until 7pm.

4.30pm: The Archbishop of York, The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Stephen Cottrell, will give a news conference in the Lady Chapel of York Minster.

5.30pm: There will be a service of Evening Prayer led by the Archbishop of York and the Dean of York.

York Minster will be open from 3.30pm for private prayer until 5.30pm Monday to Saturday and 2.15pm until 4pm on Sundays from today until 18 April. There will be no book of condolences to sign, but we invite you to send a message online using the Church of England’s online condolence book.

On Sunday, 11am Eucharist and 4pm Evening Prayer, in memory of HRH the Duke of Edinburgh, will take place. Both services will be livestreamed here.

Dean’s Park will also be open from 10am until 7pm where you are welcome to lay flowers for The Duke of Edinburgh.


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The Grand Organ returns after once-a-century restoration project

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York Minster’s newly refurbished Grand Organ will be blessed on Sunday (7 March) and played at services throughout Lent following the completion of work on a once-a-century project.

A prayer will be said for the organ during the cathedral’s livestreamed Eucharist service at 11am, before it is played for the first time during worship since 2018.

The blessing is the first step in marking the completion of the £2m refurbishment project, allowing the instrument to be played at services throughout Lent before the dedication of the organ by the Archbishop of York at Evensong on Easter Day (Sunday 4 April).

The instrument was last played during worship in October 2018 before work began to remove the organ, including nearly all of its 5,000 plus pipes, so it could be taken to organ specialists in Durham for cleaning, repair and replacement.

The work has included bringing the majority of the organ’s 102 decorative case pipes back into use, which have been silent since the last major refurbishment in 1903.

Robert Sharpe, York Minster’s Director of Music, said: “We’re delighted to be able to bring the Grand Organ back into regular use at the heart of worship at the cathedral. It will be a gentle return in March due to the solemnity of the season of Lent, but building to a celebration on Easter Day when the organ will be dedicated by the Archbishop of York.

“The refurbishment preserves the unique sound of the Minster’s organ whilst renewing its mechanism.  Work has included bringing many of the 102 case pipes which have been silent since 1903 back into use and restoring the grander, imposing qualities of the instrument which were altered during work in the 1960s.

“Organ music has played a central role in worship at York Minster for nearly 1,000 years and we hope this project will help ensure that tradition continues throughout the 21st century and beyond.”

The work to refurbish the organ, which dates from the early 1830s and is one of the largest cathedral organs in the country, weighing approximately 20,000kg, has been completed by Durham-based organ specialists Harrison and Harrison.

The team removed the organ in October 2018 and transported it to their warehouse in Durham so they could undertake work to replace the organ’s mechanism and clean and overhaul the instrument.

In 2019 and early 2020 parts of the organ were returned to the Minster, including the 102 decorative case pipes which are among the oldest surviving pipes in the organ, dating from 1832.

During the refurbishment 30 of the original case pipes were found to be beyond economic repair and were replaced, with the originals auctioned to help raise funds to support the project.

In autumn 2019 and early 2020, graining and marbling specialists Robert Woodland & Son cleaned and repainted the original case pipes and decorated the new, replacement pipes to match the originals.

Work on the refurbishment project briefly paused in March 2020 due to the Coronavirus pandemic, before the instrument was rebuilt between June and October 2020.

Between November 2020 and February 2021 experts worked to ‘voice’ the organ, a process which involves making sure all 5,000 pipes play the correct note, pitch and volume.

The project has also included creating a new music library underneath the organ, behind the Pulpitum – known as the Kings’ Screen – the 15th century stone screen which separates the Minster’s Quire from the Nave.

The organ will be dedicated by the Archbishop of York at an Evensong service on Easter Day (Sunday 4 April) and a programme of events to celebrate the organ’s return will be announced later this year.

We are currently livestreaming our Sunday services at 11am and 4pm each week via our WHAT’S ON page and will reopen for public and private worship from Sunday 14 March.

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Prayers for Dr Richard Shephard MBE

Prayers were said at York Minster today for Dr Richard Shephard, Lay Canon, former Head Master of The Minster School and distinguished composer of Church Music, who died yesterday.

Speaking to York Minster Community’s on the 10am Zoom service this morning, The Revd Michael Smith, Canon Pastor at York Minster said: “I am sorry to say that Richard Shephard, who most of you will know, died yesterday. He had been very ill for some time. He has been a part of the Minster Community for well over 30 years. He was Headmaster of the Minster School for many years, then he worked for the York Minster Fund and helped to raise well over £10,000,000 for the Great East Window amongst much else. He has sung in the choir and was Chamberlain for many years helping to lead Choral Evensong each day. In recent years he has been a member of Chapter.

“He was also a prolific composer of church music and is internationally renowned for that. He loved York Minster, his home is covered with paintings of it he collected over many years. We will miss him. We surround him with our love and prayers today and give thanks for his creativity, loyalty, friendship, humour and humanity.”

The Dean of York, the Right Reverend Dr Jonathan Frost led prayers for Dr Shephard at the 11am livestreamed service and there will also be prayers for Richard during the Evensong service which will also be livestreamed from 4pm this afternoon.

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UPDATE: Services and sightseeing throughout the National Lockdown

Amended timings for private prayer and services at York Minster 

Please find amended timings for services and private prayer in line with the Government’s new measures to control the pandemic. The cathedral will remain open for public worship and for private prayer. However, the building will be closed for sightseeing until further notice.

Booking is required for Matins, Eucharist and Evening Prayer on Sundays and free tickets are available here. Eucharist and Evening Prayer are livestreamed every Sunday via our YouTube channel.

The new timings for services and public prayer up to and including Friday 5 March are as follows:

Tuesday 5th January
07:30: Morning Prayer
07:50: Holy Communion
Closed for private prayer
17:30: Evening Prayer

Wednesday 6th January, Epiphany:
07:30: Morning Prayer
07:50: Holy Communion
12:00 – Midday Communion cancelled
15:00 – 16:30: open for Private Prayer (Nave)
16:00: Evening Prayer (Zouche)
17:30: Epiphany Eucharist (Nave)

Thursday 7th January:
07:30: Morning Prayer
07:50: Holy Communion
16:30 – 17:30 open for Private Prayer (Nave)
17:30: Evening Prayer (Nave)

Friday 8th January:
07:30: Morning Prayer
07:50: Holy Communion
16:30 – 17:30 open for Private Prayer (Nave)
17:30: Evening Prayer (Nave)

Saturday 9th January:
07:30: Morning Prayer
07:50: Holy Communion
16:30: open for Private Prayer (Nave)
17:30: Evening Prayer (Nave)

Sunday 10th January:
08:00: BCP Holy Communion (Lady Chapel)
10:00: Matins (Quire) (with adult choir)
11:00: Eucharist (Nave) (with adult choir)
14:00 – 15:00: Private Prayer (Nave)
16:00: Evensong (Nave) (with adult choir)

Monday 11th January:
07:30: Morning Prayer
07:50: Holy Communion
16:30 – 17:30: open for Private Prayer
17:30: Evening Prayer

Tuesday 12th January:
07:30: Morning Prayer
07:50: Holy Communion
16:30 – 17:30: open for Private Prayer
17:30: Evening Prayer

Wednesday 13th January
07:30: Morning Prayer
07:50: Holy Communion
16:30 – 17:30: open for Private Prayer
17:30: Evening Prayer

Thursday 14th January to Friday 5th March:

Monday – Saturday:
07:30: Morning Prayer
07:50: Holy Communion
16:30 – 17:30: open for Private Prayer
17:30: Evening Prayer

08:00: BCP Holy Communion (Lady Chapel)
10:00: Matins (Quire) (with adult choir)
11:00: Eucharist (Nave) (with adult choir)
14:00 – 15:00: Private Prayer (Nave)
16:00: Evensong (Nave) (with adult choir)

The Minster Shop will be closed from today until further notice, but our online shop remains open here. The Old Palace Library and Archive service is closed for public access:  staff are working remotely, with limited capacity, and can be contacted via Dean’s Park will continue to open daily from 10am until 4pm. People using the park will be required to adhere to Government guidance on social distancing.

Timings for services and public prayer will be regularly reviewed and updated.

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York Minster to reopen for Advent and Christmas

For all sight-seeing, book HERE. Please note the Heart of Yorkshire exhibition will recommence on 5 December.
For all Sunday services, book HERE

Full Advent and Christmas programme (in-person and online) available to view HERE

York Minster will reopen for public worship on Wednesday 2 December and for sightseeing visits on Thursday 3 December.  The cathedral will reopen in line with guidance and the restrictions in the Government’s new three tier Covid control system. York is a Tier 2 location which allows the Minster to reopen for worship and for paying visitors, with appropriate measures in place for social distancing and controlling the spread of the infection.

The Revd Canon Vicky Johnson, Precentor at York Minster said: “It is a blessing and a relief that worship and visiting can restart at York Minster and that we will be present for people as they prepare for Advent and Christmas,.”

Vicky explained that the impact of the pandemic will result in a very different Advent and Christmas at York Minster.  She said:  “The ongoing need to control the virus means that capacity at services will be severely limited. Attendance at key services on Sundays and in Christmas Week will only be possible via our pre-booked online reservation system.

“However, digital worship has flourished at York Minster this year so all of our Advent and Christmas services and events, will be available digitally via livestream and on platforms such as YouTube and Facebook.  So everyone will still be able to experience and enjoy Advent and Christmas at York Minster wherever they are.”

The cathedral’s reopening schedule is as follows:

For Worship
Public worship will restart at York Minster on Wednesday 2 December with the following pattern of services:

Monday – Saturdays                                    
7.30am            –           Matins                                     No booking required
7.50am            –           Holy Communion                    No booking required
5.30pm            –           Evensong or Evening Prayer  No booking required until 15 December for Evensongs.

8am                 –           Holy Communion                  No booking required
10am               –           Matins                                   Booking required
11am               –           Sung Eucharist                      Booking required
4pm                 –           Evensong.                             Booking required.

Reservations for Sunday services and services during Christmas Week
Attendance at the three main Sunday services in December and services during Christmas Week will be by advance online reservation only with a strictly limited attendance.  Reservations for the service on Sunday 6 December will open on Monday 30 November.  The reservation dates for services during December and Christmas weeks will be announced approximately two weeks before the service is due to take place.

Reopening for Visitors
York Minster will reopen for paying visitors from Thursday 3 December. Admission by pre-booked online tickets only. Bookings open for visiting on Monday 30 November.

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
10am until 3.30pm (last timed ticket slot is 3pm).
(York Minster is currently closed on Tuesdays).

12.30 until 2.30pm (last timed ticket slot is 2pm).

The Minster Shops inside the cathedral and at Minster Gates will also open daily:

Main Shop
Mon – Sat : 10:30 – 4:30
Sunday : 12:30 – 4:00

Mon – Sat : 10:30 – 4:30
Sunday : 11:00 – 4:00

Dean’s Park,
The popular green space which runs along the north side of the cathedral, is open daily from 10am until 4pm.

Keeping people safe:  Covid-19 control measures at York Minster
In line with Government and Church of England guidance, York Minster has implemented a range of measures to help keep visitors and staff safe. These include:

Changes to services include no singing or sharing of the Peace and the suspension of the Common Cup during Holy Communion will continue. There will also be no plate collection at the end of services, although people are encouraged to make a donation using contactless donation points inside the cathedral.

Parts of the cathedral will remain closed including the Central Tower and Undercroft Museum and there will be no guided tours.

The Minster has been approved for the UK-wide ‘We’re Good To Go’ industry standard, launched this week by national tourism organisations for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, which demonstrates it is adhering to the respective Government and public health guidance.

York Minster’s arrangements for worship and visiting will come into effect from Wednesday 2 December but may be subject to change following any further Government advice.

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A service of Evensong with the Enthronement of the Archbishop of York

The Most Reverend Stephen Cottrell, will be enthroned as the 98th Archbishop of York at a service of Evensong at 4pm on Sunday 18 October at York Minster.

The Enthronement will take place on the Feast day of St Luke, Apostle and Evangelist. Choral Evensong, one of the Church of England’s fastest growing services, is often considered a jewel in the crown of Anglican worship. Much of the service will be sung by the adult singers of the Minster Choir and there will be readings, music and prayers. Elements of the service will be based on previous historic enthronements and Archbishop Stephen will take his oath on the York Gospels.

This is a ticketed service and will be held under careful Government and Church of England Covid19 secure guidelines, with strict limits on the numbers attending.

The service will be streamed via York Minster’s and the Church of England’s national social media channels making it possible for communities across the Diocese of York, the Northern Province and the worldwide household of the Christian Church to experience the occasion in real time.

Stephen was confirmed as Archbishop of York on 9 July 2020, in a Confirmation of Election service broadcast entirely via video conference.  He walked as a pilgrim through the city of York, praying first at the shrine of St Margaret Clitherow and then at the tomb of St William of York in the crypt of York Minster, before taking up the historic Braganza Crozier – his staff of office – from the cathedral’s High Altar.

Archbishop Stephen had previously expressed hope that an improvement in the pandemic might enable a large public enthronement service to be held at York Minster.  However, three months into his role and with the country still on high alert, Archbishop Stephen is completing the final stage of becoming an Archbishop, taking up his seat in the Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of St Peter in York, in a simple service of Evensong.

Archbishop Stephen said: “I am delighted and humbled to be the 98th Archbishop of York. I have begun my ministry at a time of huge hardship and challenge and at the moment Covid19 is having a particularly devastating impact in the north. We don’t know how long the current restrictions will be in place. However, the worship and work of the church goes on bringing much needed hope, relief and practical help to the communities we serve. I am hugely thankful for the tenacity and creativity of our churches. I pray daily that we make Jesus known to all whom we meet, even if it is via Zoom! I pledge to give my best powers of wit, energy and creativity so that we may become a more Christ-centred and Jesus shaped Church, witnessing to Christ and bringing the healing balm of the Gospel to our nation.”

The Dean of York, The Right Revd Dr Jonathan Frost, said that even in a reduced format, Archbishop Stephen’s enthronement will be both moving and significant.  Jonathan said:

“Archbishop Stephen’s arrival has, like everything else in our lives at the moment, been affected by the constraints of the pandemic.  So we are doing traditional things in new ways and we are learning to take this perspective into every part of our life.  Archbishop Stephen radiates the joy, light and Good News of Christ wherever he goes. I’m quite sure it will be a wonderful occasion.”

Commenting on the enthronement, The Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Revd Justin Welby said:

“As Archbishop Stephen takes his oath on the York Gospels, he will be placing his hand over gospels that have survived over a thousand years, including through many times of struggle and suffering. It is this same Gospel that the Church is being called to live out and proclaim today. We are to follow Jesus to the side of those who weep, and weep with them. We are to come alongside those who mourn, and comfort them. Most importantly we are being called to keep alive in our hearts the hope and light of Christ, which no darkness can overcome – and to be bearers of that light in our nation and our world today.

“Even in these times of pain and struggle, it is a great joy for the Church to welcome Archbishop Stephen into his new ministry. He is a wise, courageous and faithful servant of Jesus Christ who will be a blessing to the north of England and the Nation. Archbishop Stephen and his family will be very much in my prayers as he prepares to be enthroned at York Minster.”

Because of the major organ work being carried out in the Quire, Archbishop Stephen will use the historic Garbett Throne, situated in the Nave of York Minster, for this enthronement. The Episcopal Throne was designed by Sir Albert Richardson in memory of Archbishop Cyril Garbett (Archbishop of York, 1942-1955) and has been used as the Nave seat of the Archbishop of York since 1959. The inscription on the throne reads Vos non elegistis me sed ego elegi vos, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you”, Christ’s words to His first apostles. Archbishop Stephen will deliver his first public sermon from his seat in the Cathedral and inaugurate his ministry of teaching and mission.

The following prayer will be said for Archbishop Stephen:

“Almighty and most merciful God, you have poured down your gifts upon us, making some apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers for the building up of your church here on earth. We pray for your servant Stephen, that by your grace, he may be ready to share the good news of the gospel, and with humility and wisdom use his authority to draw others to the way of Christ, through the same Jesus Christ, who is the same, yesterday, today and forever, Amen.”

Watch the service HERE

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York Minster achieves highest visitor numbers on recent record in 2019

York Minster had its highest visitor numbers on recent record in 2019, according to figures released by the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA) today (Wednesday 15 July).

The cathedral welcomed 706,484 people to worship in and explore the sacred space last year, up 2% on 2018 and its best visitor numbers on record since it introduced new recording practices in 2011.

The news, which sees the cathedral rise four places to number 53 in ALVA’s annual survey of its UK members’ visitor numbers, comes as the Minster reopened its doors to sightseeing visitors this weekend for the first time since 16 March.

The cathedral has been welcoming visitors for private prayer since 16 June, and reopened for services on Saturday 4 July, following the ease in lockdown measures.

The Right Reverend Dr Jonathan Frost, Dean of York, said: “Hospitality is at the heart of our life together at York Minster. We were delighted to welcome so many people from nearby and from around the globe in 2019 – our best visitor numbers on recent record.

“Although 2020 will look very different, we’re pleased to have reopened and are beginning to see old and new friends return. There are a thousand reasons to visit York Minster – all of them valid. Those making the journey to this magnificent sacred space will be made most welcome.”

It is thought the bumper visitor numbers in 2019 were due to a combination of the Northern Lights sound and light projection events which took place last October and were seen by 22,500 people, and the completion of the Great East Window in 2018.

The window, which is the largest single expanse of medieval stained glass in the country, and the stonework of the cathedral’s wider East End underwent a decade long conservation and restoration project, one of the largest of its kind in Europe, and were unveiled in May 2018.

The Minster is currently open for sightseeing visitors Monday to Saturday 11am to 4pm and Sunday 12.30pm to 2.30pm and has put a number of measures in place to help keep both its staff and visitors safe.

These include limiting the number of people inside by asking sightseeing visitors to pre-book tickets online, a one-way system to allow people to physically distance from one another, hand sanitizer points, additional cleaning measures and staff and clergy wearing face masks and visors to welcome people.

For further details about the cathedral’s opening times, safety measures or to book tickets click HERE

The full list of attractions and their figure are available HERE

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Archbishop lays down his crozier

Archbishop lays down his crozier on the high altar at York Minster as his last act as Archbishop of York

The Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu, accompanied by his wife, the Revd Margaret Sentamu, laid down his crozier of office on the high altar of York Minster on Sunday 7 June. The Dean of York, the Rt Revd Dr Jonathan Frost and Head Verger Alex Carberry were witnesses to this final act as Archbishop.

The Dean of York said, “Today, in the simple and symbolic act of laying down his crozier, Archbishop Sentamu brought his ministry as Archbishop of York to a close. In current circumstances we have been unable to fulfil our hope to gather together for a service. However, in households and communities across the Diocese of York, the North and Nation, those whose lives have been graced by Sentamu and Margaret give thanks for their witness to the joy, simplicity and compassion of the good news of Jesus Christ.”

On 8 June 2020, Archbishop Sentamu concludes nearly 15 years in his role as Archbishop of York. He has served in ordained ministry within the Church of England for 41 years. The Archbishop will continue to live in the North of England, and has said he will continue with his work on the case for income equality and sustainability.

Photos taken by the Diocese of York are available HERE

The Diocese of York has released an online video tribute to Dr Sentamu, made during the ‘lockdown’ response to the COVID-19 virus outbreak, and based on a series of recollections recorded by lay and ordained people from across the Diocese which has been led by Archbishop Sentamu since the 30th November 2005.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby gave a General Synod address to Archbishop Sentamu which is available at:


News article posted on behalf of  ABY and the York Diocese.

For media enquiries for the Archbishop of York, please contact Elizabeth Addy at email: or at mb. 07738 354491

For media enquiries for the Diocese of York, please contact Martin Sheppard at email: or at mb. 07377 356621

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The Chapter of York announces proposals for the closure of The Minster School

The Chapter of York, the governing body of York Minster, today announced proposals for the closure of The Minster School at the end of the summer term 2020.

As a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic York Minster has experienced a catastrophic loss of visitor income.  This particular income stream is crucial to the financial performance of the organisation as a whole and its ability to continue funding of all activities.

Parents and staff were informed of the proposals today.  The School will arrange a series of meetings with parents to discuss their options and to help them find new school places for their children.  A formal consultation process with the School’s staff and their representatives starts today.

The Dean of York, the Right Revd Dr Jonathan Frost, said that it was a terribly sad day for York Minster and for parents, staff and pupils of the School.  In a letter to parents, Jonathan explained:

“When setting its annual budget, in pre-Covid days, the Chapter of York anticipated an income of £9.4m in 2020. As a direct consequence of closure, and the total loss of visitor income and commercial activity associated with it, Chapter now anticipates a shortfall against budget of up to £5.2m in 2020. The severity of this shock to our system is only compounded by the unlikelihood of visitor numbers returning to 2019 levels in the foreseeable future.”

Jonathan explained that Chapter had planned to continue its investment of £750k in each of the next three years to create breathing space for the school to rise out of its financial deficit and to recruit new pupils. He said:

“With a £5.2m shortfall in 2020 and no return of visitors to 2019 levels in the short to medium term, such investment is no longer a viable option.  Intelligence drawn from the wider independent preparatory school sector suggests that the Minster School will be far from unique in facing this kind of dilemma.”

The Dean also announced Chapter’s intention to continue its historic commitment to the Anglican Choral Tradition, and to the education of its choristers, in partnership with St Peter’s School, York. In this new partnership, choristers will continue to be trained by York Minster’s Department of Music.

Commenting on the partnership with York Minster, William Woolley, Chair of Governors at St Peter’s School, said:

“The Minster with its wonderful choral singing is hugely important not only for York but also nationally and internationally.

“St Peter’s School is proud to become the Choir School of the Minster and to continue the excellent education of the choristers after the sad announcement. We will now have an important addition to our already world class capabilities at the same time protecting this great York cultural tradition.”

Head Master of St Peter’s, Jeremy Walker added:

“I am saddened that The Minster School is closing but look forward to welcoming choristers and their families to St Peter’s. They will be joining a school which nurtures and celebrates excellence, whether that be in music, academics, sport or all the other opportunities we share with our pupils.  They and future generations of choristers will be a great addition to the life of St Peter’s.”

Robert Sharpe, Director of Music at York Minster said:

“The Minster School can trace its origins back to AD 627 when St Paulinus founded the Minster and a school for its choristers.  This school went on to become what is now St Peter’s School. The very sad decision to close the present Minster School is set alongside this excellent opportunity for our choristers to continue to be educated together a short distance away, and for the Minster’s mission and choral tradition to continue to flourish for years to come.”

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Dean’s Park reopens

York Minster’s Dean’s Park, the popular green space which runs along the north side of the cathedral, will reopen from Monday, 1 June.

The park, which has been closed to the public since the 23 March as part of the Minster’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic, will be open daily from 10am to 6pm.

People using the area are asked to respect Government advice and social distancing guidance by remaining at least 2m apart from others outside of their group at all times to ensure the park remains open for all.

Please note that ball games, smoking, alcohol and dogs are not permitted.

The cathedral and its wider precinct currently remain closed to the public while its governing body, the Chapter of York, plan how to safely reopen for worship and sightseeing, in line with advice from Government and Public Health England.

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Welcome to York Minster’s digital worship for Holy Week and Easter

-Published 3 April 2020-

Worship and prayers for Holy Week and Easter at York Minster will be entirely digital for the first time this year – a landmark in the Minster’s 800 year history.

Having closed to the public on 17 March in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Minster’s Dean and clergy have since been releasing daily reflections and prayers online, via the cathedral’s website and social media channels.

Next week, a new series of audio services will be released to mark some of the most important days in the Christian calendar – Palm Sunday (5 April), Maundy Thursday (9 April), Good Friday (10 April), Easter Eve (11 April) and Easter Day (12 April).

The mini-services, lasting around 15-20 minutes, will include readings, prayers and music recorded by the York Minster Choir both in late March and on earlier CDs, and a special video message from the Dean of York, Dr Jonathan Frost, for Easter Day.

The Dean of York, the Right Revd Dr Jonathan Frost said: “Confined to our homes as we seek to stay safe, it is to box-sets or drama series to which many of us will turn. A good story can draw us in, reframe our perspective and open up new horizons.
“The true story of the last days of Jesus of Nazareth can do the same. Once again, we are invited to enter into the story of Holy Week, Good Friday and Easter. It’s all there, inviting us in: love and betrayal; politics and broken dreams; a vision to live and to die for.
“May you find hope in the reflections, meditations stories and music offered for Holy Week and Easter via the York Minster website. It is my prayer that you find confidence, fresh perspective and, most of all, your unique place within the story, and heart, of Jesus.”
Holy Week begins on Palm Sunday, 5 April, and concludes with Easter Day on Sunday 12 April.

The York Minster resources will complement wider activity by the Archbishop of York and the Church of England.

The Church of England will broadcast national services for Palm Sunday and Easter Day via its Facebook page.

On Palm Sunday the bishops of Hull, Selby and Whitby will again be offering short prayers at 12noon, 4pm and 8pm, via the Diocese of York’s social media channels.

On Maundy Thursday (9 April) at 11am, the Archbishop of York and Bishops of the Diocese of York, will offer a short online service including renewal of vows for lay ministers, deacons and priests, and a renewal of commitment and baptismal vows for all the faithful. All are welcome to join via Facebook, Twitter or Vimeo. Recordings of these services will be available for people to catch up later if they miss the service.

In addition to the programme for Holy Week and Easter, a range of resources including prayers are available for daily use from both the York Minster and Church of England websites.

For full details about York Minster’s digital programme for Holy Week and Easter Day, visit our WHAT’S ON page.

Click here

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