York Minster Nights, 30 October – 2 November 2013

York Minster Nights was part of the annual Illuminating York festival. In total 3975 visitors enjoyed the special activities throughout the week, with many new visitors to the Minster joining in with activities on offer. The artworks produced by the commissioned urban artist collective; Black Rose Projects, were all completely different to each other and of extremely high quality, proving popular both with press and media, our more traditional audiences, as well as attracting new people. Visitors engaged with the artists about the concepts behind their work and inspiration used from the Minster.

The participatory activities were also very well received, with people of all ages contributing to the interactive art wall and taking part in the screen-printing to purchase a limited edition print.










Some comments from our visitors:

‘Wonderful to see something new in the Minster, I probably wouldn’t have come for Illuminate if this unique event wasn’t on’

‘I have never seen anything like this before-amazing live art in an amazing space’

And from the artists themselves:

‘What you have shown us with meeting the Stonemasons and exploring the whole building – has got us inspired and excited about the whole project, so going away from this I think we will all go away with stuff that we will put into our future work’

‘There have been lots of teenagers with parents sighing relief that there is something for them, kids have wanted to talk about it-they are inspired. I got dragged around the Minster as a kid and didn’t appreciate it or take it in like an adult does-but this is a great way of saying this is actually a bit cool-churches can be cool!’

‘One of the best experiences of my career so far’ 

The artwork was on display in the Minster for one week after the event and some of the pieces have since been sold.

 ‘I matter here’ Lantern project










‘I matter here’ was a lantern project in celebration of ‘York Minster Nights’, a fringe festival of the city wide ‘Illuminating York’ festival, which ran from 30 October – 2 November 2013. The theme for the project was Remembrance; drawing upon the season of All Souls and All Saints, pupils explored the concept of looking forwards and backwards, thinking about how and why we remember and in which ways we leave our mark behind.

The lantern project raised the profile of the Minster’s offer to schools and families, was a huge success in meeting all of the aims set and was enjoyed by 92 pupils from four participating schools. Artwork from the schools was displayed at York Minster Nights 2013, and 29 families came to the lantern launch.

All four schools have confirmed that they would like to continue their relationship with the Minster and become our ‘ambassador schools’; and aspirations of the pupils were raised in sparking discussion about hopes for the future and careers.

 Feedback from Tang Hall Primary School:

‘The sense of achievement felt by the children (and the proud parents) cannot be understated – I watched several of the Year 4 children give their parents an impromptu mini-guided tour of the Minster, using the information they had remembered from last year’s adventure. Their familiarity with a building that had previously been a stranger to them was a wonderful thing to witness. This also inspired the Year 3 children to explore along with their parents.’

We are now in the process of talking to the City of York Council about some legacy youth art projects working with the Youth Offending Team and Youth Services following the success of Minster nights.

Interfaith Week 2013

As part of Interfaith week the Learning Manager and Community Engagement Officer visited York Mosque and heard the Imam discuss plans for their new building scheduled to take shape next year. An invitation was given to the Imam to visit and meet with the Dean and Chapter of York Minster which we hope will take place in 2014.

Rudra; emotive flight.

Indian music and dance performance by Manasamitra as part of national Interfaith Week.

The first of three performances from the touring programme with Manasamitra took place in the North Transept of the Minster on 23rd November. York Minster’s Canon Chancellor welcomed 146 people who attended the event, including people from York Interfaith group, international students from York University and visitors from the South Asian community in Leeds. Lots of positive comments were received including:

‘it is very exciting to have a (newish) Dean and Chapter at the Minster, who have a strong interest in other faiths-not least those that have experience with other cultures such as India’


‘isn’t it great to see the Minster doing new and different things-last month they had street artists painting live-fantastic’

 York Carnival Sunday 16th June 2013

Taking inspiration from the newly opened Undercroft at York Minster, we ran mask-making workshops on Parliament Street as part of York Carnival. Roman, Saxon, Viking and Norman masks were made, generating lots of interest in the new Undercroft exhibitions and the summer family activities. This is the second year running we have been involved in York carnival, organised by students from York University.                              







 Refugee Week Family Picnic Sunday 23rd June 2013

We hosted for the second time the Refugee Action York annual picnic in the Chapter House. 25 Turkish, Kurdish and African families joined our team of learning staff and informal learning volunteers for an indoor sharing of world food followed by tours to see the new Orb and Undercroft exhibitions.








Recovery Rocks 2013

On the 9th October 2013 a performance was held by the ‘Recovery Rocks’ band made up of graduates from the Drug and Alcohol rehabilitation programme run by the Cyrenians (who we have been working with over the last year).  The performance was hugely popular with the 90 people attending.  Some very moving contributions were made by people still in recovery as well as graduates.










Feedback from the Chief Executive:

‘Thank you so much for your kind words - yesterday was also really special for us, those in the choir of course but all our people and those in recovery in York.  Everyone at the Minster was really lovely and offered us a warm and welcoming presence from start to finish.  Thanks for the Minster's continuing relationship with Cyrenians which you have personally brokered and for all the help and understanding shown for the people we are trying to help and who we care deeply about.  As I said yesterday - it’s amazing what can be done when we work together!’

 Contact Information

Partnerships drive our community outreach work, and we are keen to cultivate new connections with a wide variety of organisations. If you are interested in discussing potential partnership working then please email Richardb@yorkminster.org