Consultation on latest Minster neighbourhood plan starts

The neighbourhood plan for the area surrounding York Minster has now been updated to include a new use for buildings vacated by the closure of the Minster School.  

The revised plan is now available for consultation (click)

While the closure of the school will be regretted by many (the pupils have moved to St Peters) the buildings formerly occupied by the school do offer exciting opportunities for both Cathedral management and the York community more generally.

The main changes from previous drafts affect the main access to the Minster. This will revert to the South Door (opposite the end of Stonegate).

Click to access

A ticket office would be established at existing buildings on Deangate.

The old school building would become a Refectory (restaurant). This is a facility provided at most major Cathedrals and would be a useful addition to the visitor experience in York.  

There are plans for an outdoor seating area, while the school field could become a “pop up” exhibition space.

The consultation period lasts until 14th February 2021 and can be accessed by clicking here

The Holy Trinity Church lies to the rear of the Old School building.

Dating from the 14th Century it currently can only be accessed from Goodramgate.

blue plaque outside the church marks the occasion when Anne Lister and her partner Ann Walker took Holy Communion together at the church at Easter 1834 an event popularised in the recent TV series “Gentleman Jack”.

The church is very much a hidden gem but attracts 75% “Five Star” reviews on Trip Adviser from those who manage to find it.

We think that new access and interpretation arrangements for the Holy Trinity Church should be considered as part of the review of the neighbourhood plan. Holy Trinity is currently the maintenance responsibility of the Churches Conservation Trust.

Coronavirus York updates; 27th November 2020

Deaths and test results

Good News

No additional deaths at York Hospital Trust announced today

Only FOURTEEN (14) additional positive test results announced today. That is the lowest since September.

The 7 day case rate p/100k population figure has fallen to 126.8. That is the lowest since 30th September.

If case numbers continue to decline at the present rate then the City will be below the 100 benchmark figure before 10th December.

Eight neighbourhoods are now below the 100 weekly case rate benchmark.

Two neighbourhoods now have fewer than 2 cases each. This includes Wigginton which has gone from having one of the highest rates in the City to lowest in less than a week.

Infection rates are continuing to fall at City, County, Regional and national levels.


It is looking promising for the roll out of some vaccine injections in the City before Christmas

Vaccination centre on Moor Lane is expecting to start taking bookings at the beginning of December

The Authorities have already said that priority will be given to NHS front line workers, Care Homes and the over 80’s.

Most vaccinations are expected to be completed by GPs but a drive though centre at Moor Lane (old park and ride site), which has been used for flu jabs, will adapt to deal with the COVID programme.

For the latest on vaccine approval click here

NB. A rapid response coronavirus testing site will open at York St John University on Monday. The university is working with NHS Test & Trace to set up the Covid test site so that students without symptoms can be tested before the end of term.  

Reopening attractions in York

York Minster

YORK Minster will reopen for public worship next Wednesday and for sightseeing visits next Thursday.

(This is not a weather forecast)

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 cathedral’s reopening schedule is as follows:

For Worship

Public worship will restart at York Minster next Wednesday 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 Christmas Week.


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 December 6 will open on Monday (November 30). 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 next Thursday. Admission by pre-booked online tickets only. Bookings open for visiting on Monday.

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday

10am until 3.30pm (last timed ticket slot is 3pm).

(York Minster is currently closed on Tuesdays).


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

The Minster shops inside the cathedral and at Minster Gates will also open daily in line with general visiting times.

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:

• compulsory wearing of masks inside the Minster

• limiting the number of people allowed inside

• reduced seating

• a one-way system to allow people to physically distance from one another

• hand sanitizer points

• additional cleaning measures

• staff and clergy wearing face masks and visors

• worshippers attending public services will also be asked to leave their name and contact details to assist with the NHS Test and Trace programme, in line with Government guidance.

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 next Wednesday but may be subject to change following any further Government advice.

For further information visit

Railway Museum

The museum will be open from 10am – 5pm, Wednesday to Sunday and open in the run up to Christmas but visitors will need to book a free ticket online.

So where is York heading post COVID

There are signs of life in some organisations in the City as they begin to address the harsh post COVID realities.

The Council has issued business recovery kits which may aid social distancing particularity in shops.

The move comes on the day when the Centre for City’s releases details of how the health crisis has impacted on visitor numbers to the City centre. Not surprisingly the profile has changed radically with those travelling from the suburbs (both as shoppers and workers) now in the majority.

This will come as no surprise as foreign tourist numbers are, and are likely to remain, negligible. The next three months will be crucial for many retail and tourist businesses in the City.

The City is middle ranking so far in how well is is recovering its high street “footfall” compared to other Cities. It has a recovery index of 24 compared to the least affected (Aldershot with a score of 57 and the worst Cardiff with 11).

But it is early days and a more general return to work next Monday will tell us more.

So what needs to be done?

Clearly York’s visitor economy is going to depend, at least in the short term, on people travelling to the City from within Yorkshire. They will need to feel safe if they are to be persuaded to come.

It is vitally important therefore that such large spaces as exist in the City centre are fully utilised.

We understated that there are events planned for Parliament Street but it is less clear what use it will be made of assets like the Museum Gardens, Deans Park and the Nave of the Minster. Indeed, imaginative programming at the Minster – which could safely accommodate over a thousand people during periods of poor weather – may be vitally important in any marketing strategy.

All could potentially accommodate Arts events while maintaining social distancing rules.

York Minster and Duncombe Place, York
Duncombe Place

The Council has already listed streets which will be pedestrianised.

Incredibly it failed to include Deangate, one of the widest streets in the City and which could – together with the Minster and Deans Park- provide an ideal events space. Events held there would complement those planned for the other side of the City to the benefit traders and attractions in the Stonegate neighbourhood.

In the longer term better use will need to be made of the river banks and the City Walls but, for a few weeks at least, the City will need to concentrate on promoting itself as a vibrant, safe and welcoming destination.

It is time now for Make it York, the Council , the theatres, museums, libraries and other organisations to publish their short and medium term regeneration proposals?

Deans Park reopens


From 10am today Dean’s Park will reopen in the heart of York. Please respect the guidelines currently in place across the country, protect yourselves & others where possible, and enjoy your visit

The Park will remain open 10am-6pm 7 days a week.

For the health and safety of others, the Minster reminds all visitors that ball games, smoking and dogs are not permitted in the park

York Minster remains closed but it is broadcasting services via You Tube and Zoom.

There is pressure now for the remaining closed central area park – Museum Gardens – also to reopen.

What’s on in York, Minster, Carol Concerts

York Minster’s popular Christmas Carol Concerts take place on Thursday 13 and Friday 14 December and offer the perfect start to the festive season.

Book tickets in the Nave for both concerts HERE (£30,£25, allocated) or by selecting BOOK above.
For Nave Aisle seats (£15, unallocated) click HERE

The concerts feature the York Minster Choir performing a mixture of classical and popular Christmas music, with the chance for the audience to join in with Christmas carols.

The concerts take place in the Minster’s awe-inspiring Nave and include special seasonal readings by celebrity guests.

Tickets are priced at £30, £25 and £15 and are available online, by telephoning 01904 557256 or in person from York Minster’s welcome desks.

Christmas concerts off to a good start in York

We’re into the Christmas concert season now. The Yorkshire Volunteers brass band entertained at the Merchant Adventurers Hall on Friday. They will be returning to the City on Thursday and Friday evening when they will participate in the very popular Minster carol concerts. The Minster hosted the annual performance of The Messiah yesterday with the orchestra, choir and soloists receiving a standing ovation

What’s on in York: Service to mark the 100th anniversary of the signing of the armistice in WW1

York Minster will hold a Service of Thanksgiving and Commemoration on Sunday 11 November at 9.30am to mark the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice at the end of the First World War.

The service will precede the annual Service of Remembrance in the City Memorial Gardens at 11am, which marks the culmination of a six week period of reflection and commemoration in York for those who served during the conflict.

The programme is part of the national #Armistice100 commemoration with events and services taking place around the country to recognise the significance of the end of the First World War, and the sacrifice made by so many men and women during the conflict.

All are welcome to attend.

Unique “Northern Lights” exhibition at York Minster this weekend.

See York Minster in a new light when the cathedral opens its doors after hours for Northern Lights, a new light projection and sound installation which will transform the Minster’s Nave.

Saturday and Sunday 16th & 17th June


Click to book ticket

Artists from double Guinness World Record winning company The Projection Studio have designed the piece, taking inspiration from the Minster’s stained glass and architecture.

Visitors will have the chance to experience the Minster at dusk, with its cavernous Nave completely cleared of chairs and filled with music from the cathedral’s organ, before the light and sound installation is shown at 9.30pm.

Projection artist Ross Ashton and sound artist Karen Monid have designed the piece to be an immersive experience, using the roof of the Nave and Great West Window – which features the famous Heart of Yorkshire – as a backdrop for the breath-taking light projection. Visitors will be surrounded by music and sound effects as part of the experience, including music recorded by the York Minster Choir.

The events have been organised to raise awareness and funds for a new conservation campaign to extend state-of-the-art protective glazing to all 128 of the cathedral’s mostly medieval windows over the next 20 years. Learn more about the project here.

Doors open at 8:00pm with last admission at 9:00pm. The Northern Lights installation will show from 9.30pm with the event finishing at approximately 10pm.

If you are unable to attend there is an opportunity to bid “on line” in a silent auction for some amazing prizes. All proceeds are going to the Minster conservation project

Click here for details

Irish £5 note thief targets Minster

Further CCTV images of man using counterfeit Bank of Ireland £50 at York Minster issued

Police have released further CCTV pictures of a man they want to speak to regarding the purchase of items using counterfeit Bank of Ireland £50 notes.

Police have released further CCTV pictures of a man they want to speak to regarding the purchase of items using counterfeit Bank of Ireland £50 notes.

The initial appeal for information was in relation to a man police wanted to identify,  after he used counterfeit Bank of Ireland £50 notes to purchase low value goods from a number of shops at Monks Cross Shopping Park in York on Thursday 8 February 2018.

Police enquiries have found that on the same day, the man also used a Bank of Ireland counterfeit £50 note in the York Minster Gift Shop to purchase a low value toy.

Anyone who recognises the man pictured, or has information which could assist the investigation is asked to contact police on 101, select option 2 and ask to speak to Rachel Shaw. Alternatively you can email – please quote reference 12180025678.

Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800555111.

New volunteer bell ringers recruited for York Minster


Great Peter of York (1927):

York Minster today announced the recruitment of a new band of volunteer bell ringers. The new band will be responsible for the peal of 12 bells at York Minster – widely regarded as some of the best sounding bells in the country.

More than 40 applications were received from bell ringers from York and the wider region.  The Minster is delighted that several members of the former band will ring with newcomers including some talented and experienced young ringers under the age of 18.  The band will be led by head teacher Angela Mitchell who was announced as the cathedral’s new Head of Bell Tower in June.

York Minster plans to have a year round recruitment process that will give experienced bell ringers moving to York and the region, the opportunity to apply to join the team at any time.  Information about ringing at the Minster will also be available for talented bell ringers arriving at York’s universities and colleges this Autumn.

The band will come together for the first time in September for induction.  They will then work with the Head of Bell Tower and the Minster team to arrange their practice schedule and ringing days for the rest of the year.

Recruitment and induction of all Minster staff and volunteers, including the new volunteer bell ringing team, is carried out in line with the Church of England’s Safer Recruitment processes focusing on safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults, security, health and safety.