The Friends’ Weekend

Second weekend in May.

Image result for Handshake LogoVenue: St Gregory's Minster. Saturday p.m. Annual General Meeting. The Kirkdale Lecture. Tea. Sunday a.m. Morning service of Thanksgiving for Founders and Benefactors, with Litany of Thanksgiving. Friends' Luncheon.


Visit from Sankt Nikolaj Kirke in Hull

Danish Seamen's Church.

Variable dates, August/September. Venue St Gregory's Minster. Sunday a.m. Morning Service - sermon by visiting Pastor from Skt Nikolaj. Pub lunch. Guided visit to a local site of interest. Tea.


Patronal Festival

First Sunday in September.

Marking the Feast-day of Gregory the Great, patron of the Minster. Morning service in St Gregory's Minster. Friends' Luncheon, usually hosting the Guest Preacher. Recent Guest Preachers include the Archbishop of York, the Dean of York, the Archdeacon of Cleveland.


Festival of Lessons and Carols

Saturday and Sunday of the weekend before Christmas.

Image result for Christmas BackgroundsVenue St Gregory's Minster (weather permitting; otherwise St Hilda's Beadlam). Led by the Choir of St Gregory's Minster (Director & Organist: John Hastie). Free admission, by prebooked ticket.



Guided visits and pilgrimages

Over the past few years the Trustees have organised visits and (in conjunction with the benefice churches) half-day, whole day and residential pilgrimages to a variety of destinations. Visits are intended to be educational and are guided, usually by a Trustee. Pilgrimages (or study-visits, depending on your terminological preference) are led jointly by the Vicar and a Trustee. Past visits and pilgrimages include:

Holy Island: 4/5-day residential pilgrimages to Lindisfarne. The programme includes short lectures and visits (Farne Island, Bamburgh Castle and Church). A fourth 5-day residential pilgrimage is provisionally planned for September 2017 (See Special forthcoming Benefice Events).

Rievaulx Abbey: magnificent ruins of one of England's greatest Cistercian Abbeys which held lands adjacent to Kirkdale until the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

Stanbrook Abbey; a newly purpose-built house of Benedictine nuns on the edge of the North York Moors.

Whitby Abbey: renowned for its abbess Hilda and the gift of poetry miraculously granted Cædmon.

Fountains Abbey: another of the most imposing Cistercian abbey ruins in England.

William Burges: Two churches by the remarkable architect : St Mary, Studley Royal and Christ the Consoler, Skelton on Ure.

Ampleforth Abbey: thriving Benedictine abbey (settled in 1802) and school in a superb setting not far distant from Kirkdale. The Abbot is a Patron of The Friends and himself memorably welcomed and guided a party of Friends round the great abbey church.

Durham Cathedral: part of the breathtaking World Heritage site, massive romanesque cathedral first built for St Cuthbert whose grave is at the east end while the tomb of the Venerable Bede stands in the Galilee Chapel at the west end. We have twice brought our Holy Island pilgrimages to their close at the shrine of St Cuthbert.

St Cuthbert, Chester-le-Street: In origin, the settling-place of the Cuthbert community after their flight from Lindisfarne and before their resettlement in Durham. A handsome and interesting church with various striking features including a medieval anchorhold.

St Paul Jarrow: Visited en route to Holy Island. The lifelong monastic home of the Venerable Bede.

Hexham Priory: Hadrian’s Wall; St Oswald Heavenfield: Tracking the early history of the Northern Church.

Bridlington Priory: From the Augustinian Priory of Bridlington (of which only the glorious nave survives, as the parish church), the Priory of Newburgh was founded, and from Newburgh Priory, which owned the rectory of Kirkdale, came the priests who served and looked after St Gregory's Minster over several centuries.