Keighley and its parish church played host to the annual Yorkshire Day Civic Celebrations, welcoming the Deputy Lieutenant of Yorkshire, the High Sheriff of York, over 150 Lord Mayors and Mayors from across the county as well as the Chair of The Yorkshire Society.
The day started with breakfast on the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway and ended with a civic reception at East Riddlesden Hall, but the centrepiece was a procession through the town centre and a Civic Service at Keighley Parish Church. Revd Canon Mike Cansdale, Rector of Keighley said “I wanted the service to catch the celebratory mood of the day but to also speak into the important public roles held by those attending. I used a reading from the Yorkshire Bible, presented brilliantly by one of our Mission Apprentices, Fran Talbot. The Yorkshire dialect went down very well but the story from 1 Kings 3, of Solomon asking God for wisdom, was very pertinent in calling our elected representatives to seek wisdom for the tasks they face.”
Keighley Town Mayor Cllr Luke Maunsell said of the day “I am so proud of this fantastic town, our Town Council and every Keighley person. Our honoured guests couldn't praise Keighley enough for how welcoming and beautiful it is. Like so many towns in this country, Keighley has its struggles. However, what sets us apart are the numerous community groups, charities and organisations who fight with every breath to make this town a wonderful place to live.”
A member of the congregation commented “The church looked resplendent with its Yorkshire flags, the reading was brilliant, the organist played well and Canon Mike’s words were just right for the occasion.”
Canon Mike concludes “Our civic role as the Church of England is very important. It was a privilege to host such an auspicious gathering and to be able to speak into the public life of our county. We prayed for all civic leaders that they would know God’s wisdom as they make complex decisions with limited resources and seek to serve their communities.”
The live stream of the service can be found here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAa_8kJf9IE