Archbishop of York says, “We have lift off!”

Unique York Minster service for new bishop and new diocese

On Sunday 8 June, York Minster will be packed for a unique Church of England service in which the Rt Revd Nick Baines will officially become the first Anglican Bishop of Leeds for the new Diocese of West Yorkshire & the Dales, and in which 3000 people from across the region will join together to celebrate the creation of the diocese.

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, will be preaching and presiding at the service. He says, “The occasion of the Inauguration of the new Diocese of Leeds (West Yorkshire & the Dales), on Pentecost Sunday, will be a fantabulous party. New Diocese, First Bishop!  It is with great joy that we will be welcoming and witnessing Bishop Nicholas Baines becoming the first Bishop of the new Diocese of Leeds, in West Yorkshire & the Dales.  At Pentecost we celebrate the inauguration of the Church when God the Father poured out the Holy Spirit on a group of Jesus’ friends who were frightened but were faithful followers who went on to change the world.  That call remains the same for us all, especially in the new Diocese of West Yorkshire & the Dales.  In the midst of our excitement or our fears about the future, God the Father pours out the Holy Spirit to renew our lives as well as enabling us to tell others about Jesus Christ and to participate in transforming our communities. Let the Holy Spirit fill us, empower us and send us out with grace and wisdom. We have lift off!”

Bishop Nick Baines (the former Bishop of Bradford), says, "I am excited and daunted by the task that will be inaugurated on Pentecost Sunday. In the power of the pentecostal Spirit we will show that we have the nerve and vision to do something new - with all the risks and opportunities this brings."

The service is unprecedented in that it will combine both a Eucharist and the legal hearing in which Nick Baines officially becomes the Bishop of Leeds. All parishes will be represented and the Lord Lieutenants of North and West Yorkshire will also be in  attendance.

The service will include an eclectic range of the best of Church music, including a brass band and several Cathedral choirs. Canon Sam Corley from Bradford Cathedral, says, “We have no less than four cathedral choirs  - from Bradford, Ripon, Wakefield and York Minster -  together with an eight-piece brass ensemble and a worship band from St George’s Church in Leeds. It’s been quite a spatial challenge fitting them all in, but I can guarantee that the music will be truly stunning.”

The service, which begins at 4pm, will last around one and a half hours and at the end everyone will be given a packed lunch provided by Morrisons.

In July, in another first, Bishop Nick Baines will be enthroned three times - in each of the diocese’s Cathedrals: Bradford, Ripon and Wakefield.


MEDIA - please RSVP attendance to Alison Bogle (alison.bogle [at], 07768 110175) for admittance to the service.


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