Coronavirus York updates; 12th January 2021


FOUR additional deaths have been announced by the York Hospital Trust today. That brings the total since 1st September up to 189, Two fatalities occurred yesterday and two on Sunday.

The latest ONS figures, showing the number of deaths of York residents from Coronavirus during the week ending 1st January, have been published.

They show 10 fatalities with nine occurring at a hospital and one at home. That is the highest single week number since May.

In total, the death toll for York residents has now reached 227 of which 56 have lost their lives since 1st September.

NB. These figures vary from those published by the York Hospital Trust as the latter covers a larger area.

According to the Care Quality Commission an additional death occurred in a York care home on 5th January. That brings the total York care home death toll to 91. Most fatalities occurred in the Spring.

Test results

ONE HUNDRED and FIFTY FOUR (154) additional positive test results announced today. Brings cumulative total to 9239.

Rate /100k population is now 637.37. Will increase to 670.44 before beginning to trend down

The York infection rate is now above the national, regional and county averages.

Help keep the people you love safe and stop the spread. If you're eligible please book a test at the website in the message. If you have symptoms or you're self-isolating visit or call 119 instead
Click to access


As of 11th January 1,959,151 people in England had been vaccinated.

No figures for York have been published yet.

City of York Outbreak Management Advisory Board – Wednesday, 13 January 2021 5.30 pm

A meeting of he City’s outbreak management board is taking place tomorrow. So far, few background papers have been published to support the agenda

The meetings are normally “webcast”


1.Declarations of Interest
2.Minutes of the Meeting held on 9 December 2020 and actions arising  PDF 146 KB
3.Current Situation in York  PDF 431 KB (see nbelow)
4.Verbal Update on the Covid-19 Vaccination
5.Covid-19 Lateral Flow Testing (a presentation will be given at the meeting)
6.Impact of the Lockdown: Verbal Update from North Yorkshire Police
7.Communications and Engagement  PDF 3 MB
8.Update from Sub-Group: Universities and Higher Education establishments  PDF 397 KBView item 8. as HTML 12 KB
9.Agenda Items for the Next Meeting
Agenda item 3 background paper

York Minster closed to public. Deans park remains open

York Minster has issued the following statement

We are now closed for public services, private prayer and sightseeing. We will also continue to livestream Sunday services at 11am and 4pm via our YouTube channel, so you can join the services from home.

York Minster has closed to the public from today (Tuesday 12 January) until further notice in response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The cathedral closed to sightseeing visitors on 31 December when York moved into tier three, but has now also closed for public services and private prayer.

Clergy will continue to offer prayer inside the cathedral on a daily basis and services will be livestreamed on Sundays so people can join worship from their homes.

The Dean of York, The Right Revd Dr Jonathan Frost, said: “We feel this is the right decision in the current climate to keep our staff, volunteers, visitors and congregations safe.

“We will review the decision on a regular basis. In the meantime, our clergy will continue to keep the regular pattern of daily prayer within the cathedral and we will continue to offer worship online so people can join us from the comfort of their own homes.”

Members of the public can send a prayer to be said in the cathedral by a member of the clergy by emailing

Dean’s Park, the green space to the north of the cathedral, will remain open on a daily basis from 10am to 4pm.

Financial Help

A new Council report reveals the scale of financial concerns in the York community as a result of COVID-19.

The report says that £1.2 million had been used to alleviate hardship by the end of September.

Hardship fund expenditure

Most went on reducing Council Tax liability. Around 9,000 residents have benefited.

Another £416,729 is being used to support a winter grant scheme. Part of this is being used to fund free school meals during holidays. The grant scheme is open to applications for anyone with savings of less than £2000.

Around 250 applications a week are being received.

The council received £298k in government funding from DHPs for 2020/21 in order to help with housing costs. So far 43% of this budget has been spent.

The numbers in work, but benefiting from on universal credit, almost doubled from 2762 to 5761 between March 2020 and September 2020.

There was a similar rise from claimants not in work.

A lot of work is going into expanding digital access to services. Those who do not currently have “on line” access are at a significant disadvantage during periods of lockdown.

Council tenant arrears stood at £975,943 in April 2020 (similar to the previous year end figure).

Arrears had increased to £1.23 million by the end of December.

The Council partly blames the DWP for the rise, citing bureaucratic hurdles to universal credit changes and staff shortages.

The Council sees the further development of community hubs as part of the long term solution to poverty in the City

click for more information

York Minster exhibition proving popular

Around 500 people a days are visiting a new exhibition at York Minster.

Running until 17 January 2021, the exhibition – The Heart of Yorkshire:  Creativity and Culture in York Minster’s Collections – takes place in the cathedral’s 13th century Chapter House and features around 50 items, including some rarely on public display.

Highlights include one of the oldest stained glass panels in Europe, ornate 13th century silver artefacts discovered in a former Archbishop’s grave and a copy of York’s first newspaper, printed in the city by an eminent female printer.

The exhibition also includes a copy of York’s first newspaper, the York Mercury, printed in the city by Grace White, who was one of three entrepreneurial female printers in the city operating in the 1600s and 1700s at a time when the industry was dominated by men.

Grace took over her husband’s printing press when she became a widow and ran the business between 1716 and 1721 leading the way with the creation of the local newspaper, with the city eventually boasting eight different titles.

Among the manuscripts on display in the exhibition is the Bolton Hours, a beautifully illuminated 15th century Book of Hours, the exquisite detail of which includes 47 full-page pictures of saints and biblical scenes, and six smaller miniatures.

The exhibition is open from during normal visiting times, currently Monday to Thursday 11am – 4.30pm, Friday and Saturday 10am – 4.30pm and Sunday 12.30pm – 2.30pm. Entry is included with a standard admission ticket and entry to the Minster is free for York residents with a valid proof of address.

Tickets click

NB. The organ is currently being reinstalled in the Minster. Next comes the not inconsiderable task of tuning the instrument! The internal scaffolding should be coming down shortly

Coronavirus York updates; 12th June 2020

York Minster reopening its doors

click for more information

Following the Government’s weekend announcement that places of worship will be permitted to reopen for individual prayer from the week beginning Monday 15th June, York Minster will reopen for individual prayer starting on Tuesday 16th June.

The Minster will be open from 4.30 to 6.30pm, Tuesdays to Saturday and 2.30 to 4.30pm on Sunday for people to come in, light a candle and speak to a member of the Clergy if they need pastoral support and care.

The Minster will be closed on Mondays for the time being.

Social distancing protocols will be in place.

The Minster is expected to announce how it will respond to any further government relaxation of restrictions including the recommencement of services and more general events aimed at the broader local community

In the meantime services are available to view on line and via zoom.

The Minster offers a virtual Sunday Evensong service each week at 4;00pm via Facebook:, YouTube: or the website:


Sad to report that the York Trust hospitals have recorded their first death of the week. The total local coronavirus hospital deaths are now 212.

There have been no more positive corona virus lab test results.

York Minster precinct plans

The Minster has commenced the final stage in its consultation over a new Neighbourhood Plan.

There have been some changes since the last survey mostly for the better.

 The new plan and feedback arrangements can be found by clicking this link

 The major areas of debate are likely to concern the plan to build a new cafe and visitor centre at 1 Deangate. Plans to build next to the south entrance have (rightly) been scrapped. The Minster Stone-yard exhibition barn will be moved away from this area (allowing uninterrupted views of the Cathedral).

Admission tickets will be sold from a property at the end of Stonegate/Minster Gates.  

It is less clear how the new boundaries of the (expanded) Minster school campus will be delineated.

Two cycle routes have been retained with one curving through Queens Walk and Minster Green while the other follows the existing carriageway line. The opportunity to provide a, daytime only, cycle route (by passing Deangate) through Deans Park has been missed.  

The new “Queen Elizabeth Square” which incorporates part of Duncombe Place, is retained. It is compromised by allowing vehicular access to the Dean Court Hotel and the Purey Cust homes.  Some will feel that a dropping off point near St Wilfred’s Church would allow reasonable access during pedestrian hours (with an electric hand trolley service if necessary). Many will feel that providing a turning circle for the, outdated, Railway Museum “train” is also an unnecessary feature.

Still the plans represent a measured and welcome approach to neighbourhood planning and, in many ways, are an exemplar for similar projects elsewhere in the City.

Minster statement January 2020
The area near the South entrance will be remodelled

What’s on in York: Nine Lessons and Carols at York Minster at 4:00pm


4:00pm  – Nine Lessons and Carols
Our most-popular service of the season consisting of nine special readings, carols sung by the York Minster Choir, and hymns for everyone to join in. A traditional Christmas celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.
(Approx running time: 75 minutes)

Capacity is expected to be reached for this service so please arrive in good time.

West doors open from 2pm and will close at 3.45pm.

Admission after this time is not guaranteed. Please note that all seats are on a first come, first served basis and reservations cannot be made for those not in the building.

Other Services

12noon – Crib Service
Traditional and popular family service. All welcome to attending; dressing up encouraged! West doors open from 9am; facilities for prams etc will be provided. (Approx running time: 75 minutes)

11.30pm  – First Eucharist of Christmas (West doors open at 10.45pm)
Traditional ‘Midnight Mass’ with music from the St William’s Singers and York Young Soloists.
Preacher: The Revd Canon Dr Christopher Collingwood
(Approx running time: 90 minutes)

All services are free to attend and tickets are not required.

Minster changes take step forward

A refined set of plans which would see significant changes in the area around  York Minster have been published.

A copy of the prospectus can be downloaded from this link

The proposals are both ambitious and respectful tot eh heritage of both the Cathedral itself and the surrounding City.

They include a new “Queen Elisabeth Square” adjacent to the west end of the Minster. This is a welcome move towards the pedestrianisation of Duncombe Place. A vehicular access route – which will apparently still accommodate the Railway museums “Disney” train – has been retained.

The role of Deans Park as a quiet part of the City centre has been respected.

Likely to be more controversial – with the devil being in the detail – are plans for new buildings in the area where Constantine currently sits. The Roman will be rehoused further down Deangate, where he will be joined by a statute of Queen Elisabeth II

 A separate Deangate cycle track is planned ending the present shared space arrangement with pedestrians. Access only restrictions will be enforced ending the visits of parents to the entrance to the Minster School. They will have a separate drop off point at the end of Duncombe Place. The school itself will get enhanced facilities.

St Williams College will be brought back into use – not before time – and will accommodate Minster office staff. It is an old building, with an arcane layout, so good look to them with that.

The existing Church House administration offices will be converted into flats which will be rented out.

There are plans to develop the Deanery garages as residential accommodation for workers.

That may not suit everyone and there are some potentially awkward interfaces with the surrounding community. The new square, for example, doesn’t seem to make the best of the possible linkages to Stonegate.

But overall the proposals represent good progress and are being progressed in an inclusive way which reflects well on their authors.

Responses to the consultation can be made via this link The consultation closes on 16th June 2019.

What’s on in York: Parsifal Hallé Orchestra Sir Mark Elder (conductor) at York Minster 17th April

BWagner – Prelude to Act 1 and Act 3 of Parsifal

For his final masterpiece, Wagner turned away from themes of power and romantic love towards the sacred realm, aiming to compose a work in which ‘the most sublime mysteries of the Christian faith are openly presented on stage’. His ‘festival play of consecration’ re-tells the ancient story of Parsifal, a ‘holy fool’ made wise through pity and redeemed by a simple act of compassion. Act III is the spiritual heart and emotional climax of the work, as Parsifal fulfils his journey towards understanding. After a solemn orchestral prelude to represent the turmoil from which the world must be saved, there follow two scenes of redemption. In the first, Parsifal shares his own transformation with Kundry by baptising her; in the second, he heals the wounds of Amfortas. Between the two scenes, the famous Good Friday Music celebrates the day on which the world is renewed – a moving paean to the beauty of nature that sees springtime as a reflection of the Resurrection of Christ on Easter Day. The work ends with an unforgettable chorus, a symbolic joining of earth and heaven, as boy trebles join a massed chorus while a white dove descends. ‘The hero’s path to compassion and understanding can be a metaphor’ says Pope Francis, ‘to better understand how human beings understand themselves today.’

Sir Mark Elder and the Hallé are second-to-none in this music. Their 2013 Proms performance was described by The Guardian as ‘a constant wonder’ and by The Spectator as ‘miraculous’, while for The Daily Telegraph he and the orchestra found the ‘spiritual halo’ and ‘all the essential pain and anguish’ of the work. Heard in York Minster during Holy Week, this will surely be an unforgettable performance.

Heard in York Minster during Holy Week, as part of the Ryedale Festival, this will surely be an unforgettable performance.

Tickets are available from the Ryedale Festival website.

DATE 17 Apr 19

TIME 7:30 pm


PRICE From £20

What’s on in York: Bach St John Passion (sung in English) at York Minster on Saturday

  • Saturday 6th April 2019 7:30pm

Enjoy hearing this unforgettable work in the superb setting of York Minster, performed by York Musical Society with a choir of over 100 voices, six soloists and a full orchestra. The ideal music and setting as Easter approaches!

Bach wrote the St John Passion during his first year as director of music at Leipzig and it was first performed in 1724. The Evangelist’s words closely follow the text of Luther’s version of St John’s Gospel. The chorales used melodies and words that would have been sung by the congregation in Bach’s day. When you hear it, you will experience why the Passion is still frequently performed and greatly loved.

Ticket Information: Front nave £20 | Rear nave £15 | Side aisles £10 | Student & children 13-17 £5 | Children 12 and under 12 free with accompanying adult

2 hours 15 minutes (including 15 minute interval)
Doors: 6.45pmB

Available via the Theatre Royal HERE 

What’s on in York: Minster joins in York Residents Festival

DATE 26 Jan – 27 Jan 19

TIME 9:30 am – 4:15 pm

LOCATION York Minster

York residents are invited to experience unbeatable, panoramic views of York from the highest point in the city – York Minster’s central tower – for free as part of the 2019 York Residents’ Festival.

Admission to the Minster is free all year round for York residents, but for the festival the cathedral is also offering residents free tower trips across the weekend, which normally cost £5 each.*

On the Saturday, people can also enjoy free interactive activities in the awe-inspiring surroundings of the cathedral’s 13th century Chapter House, including:

  • Drop in family sessions to create a Heart Of Yorkshire inspired sun catcher (10am-3pm)
  • Object handling sessions with items from the cathedral’s historic collection (11am-2pm)
  • Noah’s Ark themed Little Explorer backpacks to help young explorers discover the Minster (9am-4pm) and an activity area for young children with books and toys linking to the Minster.