The development of tourism in post-industrial Halifax symbolised by the re-opening of the Piece Hall and the creation of Eureka, the UK’s first interactive children’s museum on the site of the former railway goods yard adjacent to Halifax Parish Church has presented new opportunities for witness in the new millennium. Moreover, changing attitudes to women’s ministry in the Church of England resulted in the appointment of the first woman vicar of Halifax in 2001.
The installation of a new translucent glass doorway and improved illumination to create a more welcoming entrance at the south-west porch, which was dedicated by the Bishop of Wakefield in October 2005, symbolises the church’s continuing commitment to serve both the local community and the growing number of visitors to the town in the post-industrial era. The acclamation of the patronal saint of Halifax Parish Church, John the Baptist, when Jesus approached him for baptism, ‘Behold the Lamb of God’, carved into the wooden cross-bar, re-affirms the relevance of the Christian gospel in the twenty first century.
The re-ordering of the west end of the church as part of a two million pound renovation of the church and its environs to enable access for all and to create an oasis of peace and space for fellowship over refreshments after worship and the growing number of other celebratory events now hosted by the church. Moreover the church is now open daily for prayer, private meditation, solace and worship and a series of trails emanating from the Parish Church encourage visitors to explore the historic environment of the church and the town..