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.

Minster advertises for new “Head of Bell Tower”

keep-calm-i-m-a-bell-ringerThe following job advert has been published by the Minster

Experienced Bell Ringers are invited to apply for the role of Head of Bell Tower at York Minster.  The successful applicant will help us to recruit and establish our new band of volunteer Bell Ringers. Initially a 12 month fixed term appointment (to be reviewed within 12 months), this is expected to require an average 10 hours per week.

York Minster is the Cathedral Church of the Diocese of York and the Metropolitical Cathedral for the Northern Province of the Church of England.   It is a masterpiece in stained glass and stone, with foundations rooted in the nation’s earliest history. Today, as a working cathedral, we invite everyone to share God’s love through our welcome, worship, learning and work.   Our values are courage, wisdom and trust.

The ring of 12 bells in York Minster are widely regarded by experienced change ringers as some of the best sounding bells in the country. The Head of Bell Tower will be responsible for the recruitment and development of a skilled band of York Minster Bell Ringers to lead change ringing for Sunday services and for other special services and occasions in York.

The role will average 10 hours a week including practice (currently Tuesday evenings) ringing on Sundays (9.30-10.30am) and special services and festivals.  Attendance during office hours will be required at least six times a year for training. Initial induction for the role will occur over three days.

Salary c.£7000 per annum

Fixed term appointment

To apply please download an application pack, application form and equality and diversity monitoring form. Completed applications should be emailed to or addressed to Victoria Imada, HR and Volunteering Administrator, Church House, 10 – 14 Ogleforth, York, YO1 7JN.

Applications should arrive no later than 5pm on Sunday 26th February 2017. Interviews will be held in York on Saturday 11th March 2017.

Other jobs advertised at the Minster can be found by clicking here

Christmas carol services today in York

York’s Annual outdoor Christmas Carol event takes place today.  

christmas-stre-st-helens-sq-18th-dec-2016The service, which starts at 7.30pm on Saturday 24 December in St Helen’s Square, is supported by the Salvation Army band and involves the audience being encouraged to form the choir for a range of Christmas Carols.

The service is expected to finish at around 8.30pm.

As this is an outdoor event residents and visitors are encouraged to wear suitable clothing for the cold temperatures. Traffic restrictions will be in place at St Helen’s Square, Coney Street and Lendal, which will be closed to traffic from 6.30pm to 9pm as the event takes place.

Earlier the internationally renowned nine lessons and Carols service takes place in the Minster.

The service starts at 4:00pm but those wishing to gain  admittance are advised to be there by 3:00pm