Hoping for new friends at Minster

A PIONEERING scheme to recruit ‘friends’ of Dewsbury Minster is about to get under way.

Next Friday, legendary Yorkshire-born priest David Hope will launch the ambitious bid to give everyone in the town a fresh sense of ownership of the ancient Minster.

The Friends of Dewsbury Minster will be a not-for-profit scheme aimed at making the church a potential hub of resurgence.

The Rev Canon Kevin Partington said: “You don’t have to be churchy to walk through our doors. The Minster is a place to meet and use as a resource for peace and spiritual sanctuary. The key point here is that this is a sincere invitation to the whole town.”

The initiative comes hard on the heels of Dewsbury Minster being named as one of the holiest places in the UK.

The launch evening will feature a talk by the Rt Rev David Hope, former Archbishop of York who gave up that post to return to being a local vicar. He will be honorary patron of The Friends.

The event is at the Minster at 7.30pm on September 23, with food and drink, live music and a chance to explore the church and its treasures. It is free and needs no ticket or signing up.

“We want to create a real sense of ownership in the Minster as a local resource of solace and inspiration,” said Mr Partington.

‘Friendship’ will cost £10-£16 a year and brings Dewsbury into the ranks of cathedrals and abbeys which run similar programmes.