The welcome of a new team vicar, the dedication of a patron’s seat and a sermon from Her Majesty’s Chaplain to the Savoy all marked a day of heritage celebration at Castleford Parish Church on Sunday 9th September.
The church has been under the patronage of the Duchy of Lancaster for more than 700 years and to mark this a Patron’s Seat was dedicated at the morning service.
Leading the worship at the morning service was the Revd Professor Peter Galloway, Her Majesty’s Chaplain at the Savoy and the service was also attended by Stuart Sylvester, the Great Grandson of former Rector William T M Sylvester. The Reverend Sylvester was instrumental in initiating the rebuilding of the Church 150 years ago and a leading social reformer in Castleford at the time of the Industrial Revolution.
Pictured , top, are (left to right): Stuart Sylvester, Reverend Professor Peter Galloway, Reverend James Milnes (Rector of Castleford).
The day concluded with Bishop Tony Robinson, Bishop of Wakefield, officiating at the licensing of the newly appointed Team Vicar for Castleford Team Parish. This appointment of a Team Vicar is unique in that Father Gregory Ruszczynski (Pictured left) is of Polish origin and clearly demonstrates that the ministry of the church in Castleford is open to all in the community.
The Heritage Open weekends of 8th/9th and the 15th and 16th September have been a great opportunity for visitors to take self-guided tours of the Church and see an exhibition setting out the history of the Church from its 11th century origins to present day, key figures in its history and its relationship to the town.