Churches across our diocese are being encouraged to showcase their history and heritage by taking part in the first ever Yorkshire Churches Day next month.
The Yorkshire Historic Churches Trust (YHCT), a charity set up to help repair, restore and maintain places of worship in the county, is launching the day on Saturday, September 10.
It is hoped to be one day a year when all places of worship in the region open up and share all that can be found inside their buildings.
It also provides an opportunity to showcase the many historic religious buildings in Yorkshire as places of worship and important centres for the local areas they serve.
This year the YHCT is running Yorkshire Churches Day in partnership with the Heritage Open Days initiative, England's largest festival of history and culture, when thousands of people come together to celebrate their heritage, community and history.
YHCT President, the Most Revd Stephen Cottrell, Archbishop of York, said: “I’m delighted to support the Yorkshire Churches Day, which is a wonderful opportunity to share many of our county’s beautiful churches.
“At the heart of many of our communities sits the parish church; there to welcome everyone.
“These are rightly centres of community, places to gather, learn, serve, places where we mourn and where we celebrate and places where week by week the good news of Jesus Christ is shared.
“However you engage with our wonderful churches, remember that they are not merely places of heritage and history, but rather vibrant and living places of worship and community.
“I’m so grateful to the Yorkshire Historic Churches Trust for this initiative and for the many ways in which they support and encourage those who work so hard to care for these buildings, their work, along with the work of so many volunteers will help ensure that the richness of these buildings is preserved and enhanced for generations to come.”
Tom Ramsden, chairman of the YHCT said: “The Yorkshire Historic Churches Trust is launching this initiative in the hope that Yorkshire Churches Day will become a day of general celebration, when all Yorkshire’s Churches, Cathedrals, Chapels and Meeting Houses will be open to all and visited by anyone keen to explore their heritage and enjoy that sense of beauty and peace present in these buildings.
“Please use this day each year to pop in to your local church, sit there quietly for a minute or two and feel the magic of the place. They were created with love and care, and they will be kept alive for future generations with your support.”
Full details of how to get involved and all the support available can be found here.