Party on the Bridge for Canon Kate Taylor

This July the Chantry Chapel's annual Party on the Bridge was dedicated to the memory of Canon Kate Taylor MBE, Chair of the Friends of the Chantry Chapel, just prior to the recent announcement that her Memorial Service will be held at Wakefield Cathedral in September.

Lord St Oswald opens the Party on the BridgeThis year’s Party on the Bridge, which took place on Saturday 11th July, also marked the 25th anniversary of the Friends of the Chantry Chapel.

The event was opened by Lord St Oswald who paid tribute to Kate Taylor’s memory, praising her great contribution to the Chapel and its Friends by dedicating the Party to her after her death in May.

This Silver Jubilee event hosted a wide range of exciting activities, including Pooh Sticks, performances from the Horbury Majorettes and the Nomad Drummers, a craft market featuring jewellery, artistic glass and artwork and the Pop up Cathedral. 

David Royston, Chairman of Friends of the Chantry Chapel, said, “The Party on the Bridge event on Saturday 11th July was a great success; we were blessed with the weather, sunny although a tad windy.This has not been always the case, sometimes the weather has not been so kind with rain and high winds, the position on the bridge is quite exposed.

The Party on the Bridge with the Pop up Cathedral and performances from the Horbury Majorettes

“The Lord St. Oswald, a good friend of Kate for many years, at short notice very kindly agreed to open the event.

“Over the course of the day we had something in the region of 60 – 70 visitors and raised £370.00.”

The annual event helps to raise money for the maintenance and upkeep of the Chapel which is held in national importance, being only one of three bridge chapels left in England.

David Royston explains, “The Chantry Chapel of St. Mary in Wakefield was built in 1356 as an integral part of the structure of the medieval bridge over the river Calder.

The Chantry Chapel during the Party on the Bridge with the craft market just outside

“It is a beautiful and historic building; the “Friends” were formed in 1990 this year being our Silver Jubilee year!

“It was formed by a small group Mr. Ray Perraudin of Westfield Park being the first secretary and Mr John Gilbey the first Chairman.”

He mentions, “The purpose of The Friends of Wakefield Chantry Chapel was to create interest in this wonderful building from as many people and organisation as possible and to increase its profile within Yorkshire.

“Additionally they are committed to raise funds for the maintenance and up keep of the structure, having spent already something in the region of £200,000 on the upkeep.”

David Royston also praises Kate Taylor’s involvement, claiming, “I believe that Kate Taylor, if not involved when the organisation of the Friends was formed, became involved very shortly afterwards.

“She took over the position of Chairman when Mr Gilbey became ill. Since then her involvement has been immense and invaluable, her 'shoes' are enormous and impossible to fill!”

The memorial service for Kate Taylor will be taking place in Wakefield Cathedral on Saturday 26th September at 14:00. Please RSVP to admin [at] wakefield-cathedral.org.uk.

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