July 2018


newsletter july 2018



Dear Friend

It may be banal and trite to say it, but Time really does seem to fly these days. When I was small the summer lasted for ever, and the Autumn and especially Christmas hovered as the faintest smudge on a very distant horizon. However, this is no time for Nostalgia; the Future (but not in the form of Dickens’ grim Christmas-Yet-To-Come character) beckons.

St Gregory’s Patronal Festival will be held on Sunday 2nd September, with a Luncheon to follow after Morning Service. Father Luke OSB from Ampleforth Abbey will be the Guest Preacher, and the Trustees are hopeful that he will be able to accept the Friends’ invitation to the Luncheon.  This will be held at Kirkbymoorside Golf Club, and must be booked in advance. Booking forms are attached to this Newsletter; early reply before Friday 24th August would be very much appreciated.

A day-trip to Hexham Abbey by coach on Tuesday 18th September is being organised by Mrs Penelope Dawson Brown, of the Friends of Lastingham Church. If you have not already been in touch with Penelope to book your seat, and lunch, please do so now, as time is running out.  Penelope needs to have your payment on or before Wednesday, 15th August. She is available on 01751_417251 or penlowaskew@gmail.com. This outing is a joint-venture between the Friends of St Gregory’s Minster and the Friends of Lastingham Church. Professor Sid Bradley will give an informative talk during the journey to Hexham. The Friends of Lastingham Church visited St Gregory’s Minster on Friday 22nd June, and after a short Communion Service, all present enjoyed a fascinating talk by Sid on the history, founding, and links between Lastingham Church and St Gregory’s Minster. Refreshments followed, and the event was considered to have been thoroughly enjoyable. It is very much hoped that such social links between both sets of Friends will continue, as indicated by this visit and the forthcoming trip to Hexham.

The Pastor and members of the Danish Church, Hull, (Sankte Nicolas) visited the Minster on Sunday July 8th. Several Friends were able to accompany them to an informal pub-lunch in Ampleforth following the Morning Service, and the party then visited Shandy Hall, in Coxwold.  This outing was organised by Sid. It was a very enjoyable day, but regrettably was tinged with sadness, as it appears that this might be the last time that the Danish Church members will be able to make a formal visit to St Gregory’s Minster. We do wish them well in the coming months, and also hope that we will be able to meet again at some point in the future.

In my last newsletter I referred to Reverend John Warden. Our newest Friends may not know that he was instrumental in forming “The Friends of St Gregory’s Minister” in 1988. I am sorry to report that he passed away in June after a long illness, and a Service of Thanksgiving and Celebration for the life of Reverend Warden took place in St Gregory’s Minster on Friday 15th June. Many Friends were able to attend the Service; he will be long remembered with great affection and with deep gratitude.

At the AGM I mentioned that the Minster organ has been in need of repair and restoration. I am told that this work is expected to begin on 8th October and will, it is hoped, be finished in December, in time for the Minster Carol Services. In the meantime it will, perforce, remain silent.  The Friends are offering monetary assistance in this long-awaited project. Any further financial assistance you could offer in this matter will be most gratefully accepted! Information about the Carol Services will be circulated in due course.

Still on a musical theme: very recently the Minster was the venue for one of the highly-acclaimed Ryedale Festival concerts. Following the success of last year’s clavichord concert (the first time the Minster had been chosen as a venue, or so I understand) the late-evening candle-lit concert on Friday 20th July featured the Viola da Gamba, and was greatly appreciated by everyone. The Minster was almost completely full, and again several Friends were able to be present. The Minster does lend itself very well as a venue for these “small-voiced” instruments, and provides a wonderful setting for a very enjoyable evening. I met one concert-goer who had travelled from west London specifically to attend the Ryedale Festival, and who was “blown away” not only by the concert, but by the Minster (and rightly so).

My next Newsletter will contain details of a new run of Christmas Cards; additionally there should be some news about the progress of the new Kirkdale Mug. Please do look at our website, via www.kirkdalechurches.org.uk, then clicking on “Friends of St Gregory’s Minster”, for a list of the Kirkdale Monographs. These are reproductions of the Kirkdale Lectures; they are all very interesting, are attracting interest from several important organisations, and are available to buy.

Sincerely, with very best wishes, and with thanks, as ever, for being a Friend,  

Heather Harris

Chairman; Tel: 01723_850558; email: westlands.harris@btinternet.com


The Trustees: Mrs Heather Harris (Chairman); Mrs Margery Roberts (Honorary Secretary); Mrs Diana Pearce (Honorary Treasurer); Reverend Susan Binks; Professor Sid Bradley; Mr Bob Chapple; Mrs Erica Dineen; Mr James Lloyd; Mr Gordon Mellor and Mr John Turner.  “The Friends of St Gregory’s Minster” is a charity registered with the Charity Commission, Charity Number 700344.