Bradford Cathedral launched its centenary celebrations with special Epiphany events to mark the 100th anniversary of the Parish Church of St Peter, Bradford becoming the Cathedral Church of St Peter, Bradford.
Bishop Nick attended for a Choral Eucharist at 10.15am which was followed by the opening of artist Eva Mileusnic’s ‘Counter-flow’ exhibition at 12.00pm.
There was then a powerful talk to a packed cathedral by Bishop Nick, entitled: "Going back a different way: being Christian in a populist world" which addressed pressing modern issues.
"Bradford Cathedral is 100 years old in 2019. That is, this building has been a cathedral since 1919, but the building has been here for many centuries before that. It is living evidence of Christian worship, service and faithfulness through times of peace and conflict, change and challenge, struggle and joy. It was designated a cathedral within just one year of the end of the so-called “War to end all wars”.
"European and wider global manhood had been cut to shreds by the developing technological weaponry disposed at the hands of people the Enlightenment had told us were progressing.
"So, this cathedral witnessed the loss of Bradford’s youth and innocence and tried to shape a lens of experience and perception through which a bruised generation might look at its torn world and find ways of making it better.
"Fifteen years later Adolf Hitler took power in a democratic election in Germany and twenty one years later Bradford was back at war. Do we ever really learn from history?
"Well, here we are today celebrating the centenary of this cathedral as a cathedral, now one of three in a single diocese (a first in the Church of England), at a time of considerable political uncertainty at home and abroad. Have we learned from past experience how to live faithfully in the twenty first century with its challenges and opportunities, with its particular manifestations of age-old and oft-repeated political and social phenomena?"
Bishop Nick's full talk can be read here:https://bit.ly/2LVlFa5
A Festal Evensong took place at 4pm to conclude the cathedral's start to an exceptional year.
Dean of Bradford Cathedral Jerry Lepine (pictured left) said:
"This was a joyous and thought-provoking beginning to Bradford Cathedral’s Centenary Year.
"It was ‘cathedral’ at its best with hospitality, beautiful music and people drawn from all over the region and beyond.
"I was deeply touched by the people that travelled a distance to be with us. It showed not only their generosity of spirit but also the affection that people have for this cathedral.
"If you missed the beginning, there’s plenty more coming during the year. See the website for details.
"This is a very special year for the cathedral and we do hope that you can join us at some of the many events which will take place throughout the year."