The summer months are here at last. It’s actually been warm in the Minster! We’ve had a plethora of cultural activity over the last few weeks: Summer Dinner, Flower Festival, Black Dyke Band, the Calligraphy exhibition, summer tours of the Minster, and the Family Fun Week at the end of August. I’m certainly ready for a break, and I’m sure that many others in the community too.
We can’t be at our best if we don’t have time out to rest and recreate. Simply time to slow down, to spend quality time with people we love, the chance to have some sun and enjoy a good book, all ways in which we find ways to try and switch off from the worries of the world and have space for thinking and resting. I hope as many as possible will have a chance for some kind of break from normal routines over the summer as we prepare to come back for the autumn term.
September to Christmas is always the busiest period in the Minster compared to the rest of the year. This year will be no different, with the new Vision Groups up and running (looks as if about 40 people have signed up so far – still room for more), special services, concerts, exhibitions, and a number of conferences which people will be attending on behalf of the Minster. It’ll be Christmas before we know it!
Preparation for the Initiation Service will begin in September. If you want to be baptised, admitted to communion, be confirmed, or take the chance to re-affirm your faith, then please speak with any of the Clergy to find out how you can join in. In many ways it’s the most important service of the year as men, women, and children all make commitments to God in front of the bishop and the worshipping community.
This autumn sees a new Festival for the town: the Halifax Comedy Festival and I’m delighted that the Minster will be one of the venues across the town. For those of us who proclaim to be Christians, we know as much as anyone else, that God regularly has a great sense of humour, and in my experience always has the last laugh! Look on the Minster website for the publicity.
Plans for the re ordering of the front of the Nave continue at a pace. Everyone who needs to be consulted has been, and the public notice for the Faculty is almost completed, and all the current paperwork has been submitted to the Chancellor of the Diocese. The tenders for the work are due in at the end of July and will be ready for when I return from holiday. One of the tenders has already come in at half the price we were anticipating, which suggests, we will be able to complete all the work we were hoping for. This means that much of the Minster will be closed for 10 weeks beginning in January, and hopefully ready to re-open for Easter. The plans are exhibited on the notice board at the back of the Minster if you haven’t seen them already.
Wishing you all a restful summer,