While most people know that the world’s biggest annual sporting event, the Tour de France, will be in Yorkshire in July, it may be less well-known that the three week cycle race will be spending most its first two days criss-crossing the Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales.
Churches on the routes of Stage One and Two, (Saturday July 5th and Sunday July 6th) are already making preparations with thousands of visitors expected to start arriving in the region by late June. .
Now a poster is being printed for any Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales churches of the new diocese on or near the routes. A simple design with a yellow background, it is aimed at encouraging visitors to discover the many wonderful landmark churches and cathedrals which are part of the new diocese and which the tour will pass.
While it is hoped that the poster can be distributed quickly to churches, it can also be downloaded now as a PDF by clicking on the picture.
(NB If your church is both near the Tour de france routes - and someone will be at York Minster on June 8th - watch out for Canon John Carter at the West End following the service and collect your free posters from him ... max. churches close to the route 2 per church - churches actually on the route - 4 per church.)
Stage One of the Tour de France is spent entirely in the new diocese. It will set off from the centre of Leeds and head out via Otley and Ilkley into the Dales of North Yorkshire, reaching Swaledale and churches such as Muker and Grinton, before sweeping south through Leyburn, Middleham, Masham, and Ripon until the finish in Harrogate.
On Day Two, the Tour organisers have included two other dioceses, York and Sheffield for a small part of the route. However, the field of top international cyclists - including Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome and Mark Cavendish - will once again spend most of the day passing the beautiful churches of West Yorkshire and the Dales. Some of those churches will be providing spectator seating, refreshments or holding special events – others will be using their buildings as a sanctuary or a place to watch the rest of the tour on television.
Press and media from throughout the world will also be discovering the beauties of Yorkshire, and it is hoped the churches and Christian heritage of the region – while learning about the communities of faith each represents. A special website - lechurchletour.org - has been created containing not only more details of the churches on the route, but also events being planned by them. The new poster incorporates a QR code which means that visitors using smart phones and tablets will immediately be able to discover more information though the website if they point their optical reader at the poster.
Churches on or close to the route who would like to receive posters once printed should contact John Carter at john.carter [at] westyorkshiredales.anglican.org (subject: Tour%20de%20France%20poster, body: We%20would%20like%20to%20have%20posters%20for%20the%20Tour%20de%20France%20.....) ( )