Wakefield Cathedral exists in order to worship God and point others to him. We strive to help people live as disciples of Jesus Christ, and to share his love with the world. We work closely with the Bishop of Leeds, praying daily for his ministry, and seeking to support him in his ministry across the Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales.
We are set in the heart of the city of Wakefield, and endeavour to offer a warm welcome to all who enter or pass by our doors. As a place of conversation for people of all faiths and none, and a cultural hub in the city centre, we have made public our desire that everyone who lives in Wakefield District will come inside at least once a year. Our city centre location gives many people the opportunity to drop in, and undoubtedly that helps us understand why some 50,000 or more candles are lit each year, as people remember a loved one, or bring a deep concern to God.
We try to give priority to people who are needy or disadvantaged, with some of this work focused through the Wakefield Rent Deposit Scheme. As one of three cathedrals in the diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales, we look to play our part alongside our sister cathedrals in Bradford and Ripon in discerning what it can mean for three cathedrals to exist in one diocese, and how together we might faithfully serve the people of our region.
In 2013 we completed the renewal of our nave for the 21st century. This was the physical realisation of the Chapter’s long-term ambition to give the nave back to the people of Wakefield and of our region, ensuring that this is a place where everyone feels at home. We are currently in the process of renewing our roof on the nave and quire, and in Project 2015 are about to start work on the interior of the quire and East End. This will complete the refurbishment of our church, giving a brighter, lighter future to this beautiful medieval building, where we pray all our visitors will be touched by the love and presence of God.
The daily round of prayer is fundamental in Wakefield, as in every cathedral, and we are constantly delighted and transported by the excellent music produced by our choir. Equally important to cathedral life is the education department, which works with local schools and community groups, but is also committed to bringing in groups of people for whom the cathedral would not be a natural home. Alongside the education department sits a creative programme of Christian education and nurture for adults and children alike.
Although the renewal of the building has consumed a lot of energy for a number of years, it has also empowered us, and strengthened our commitment, to building up the people of God. To this end, we held a Mission in late 2013 to reach out to the people of our city and beyond, which was the springboard for continuing engagement with the world outside. This work is championed by our Community Missioner, whose role is to push the clergy and people of our cathedral beyond our comfort zone, and to draw new people into our worshipping life. Having responsibility for the Chantry Chapel of St Mary the Virgin on Wakefield Bridge, we are committed to using this beautiful little church to proclaim our Christian Faith, and to introduce people to the life and work of the cathedral community.