News and Diary


News and Activities








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We here quote the Chairman's September Newsletter to Friends with slight modifications:

As you will know the Friends’ Weekend was held on 11th and 12th of September, in a controlled form, as dictated by You-Know-What.  I append for your interest and information a record of both days. 

The 32nd AGM was held at 2.30pm on Saturday 11th September, and all attendees followed Pandemic regulations and precautions. One Trustee was due to stand down, namely Mr Gordon Mellor, who did not seek re-election, but wished instead to retire.  Gordon was thanked for his outstanding and unstinting support throughout very many years, and was wished many years of happy retirement.  As no applications for Trusteeship had been received, leaving a vacancy, the number of Trustees was reduced to nine (see list below). 

The Chairman’s report covered May 2020 – May 2021, in the hope that the usual dates for the Friends’ Weekend would resume next year.  In fact this has been booked for the dates of Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th May 2022; it is hoped that the usual format of Refreshments and Luncheon may be organised!  The Chairman referred to the fact that there should be exciting news for the next AGM, arising from events happening now.  The Treasurer’s report followed, and the Election of an Honorary Auditor was proposed and seconded.   

The AGM was closed at 3pm, and after a short interval, Professor Sid Bradley gave a talk (in place of the postponed Kirkdale Lecture) entitled From Kirkdale's ‘Cloud of Witnesses’: Four Cameos.  He concentrated on four historically significant persons from different centuries, whose actions affected the Minster to a considerable degree.  They were two named vicars or curates of St Gregory's Minster, both apparently Augustinian canons of Newburgh Priory, from the 14th and the 15th century; and Henry Danvers (Lord Danby) who bequeathed St Gregory's Minster and its tithes to the University of Oxford in support of his 'Physicke Garden' (now the Botanic Garden - this year celebrating its 400th anniversary); and his mother, Lady Elizabeth Danvers, a daughter of the prestigious and powerful Neville family, who preceded him as Patron of St Gregory's Minster. Both mother and son lived in the tumultuous years of the 17th century. This was most interesting; the audience listened in rapt attention to the end, after which there was great applause, and a Vote of Thanks from Gordon Mellors.

The Friends’ Sunday brought the usual Choral Eucharist; Fr Anthony Pritchett was both Celebrant and Guest Preacher.  The Litany of Commemoration of Founders and Benefactors (revised this year to include the names of newly discovered medieval priests of St Gregory’s Minster, Dominus Alan de Kilham and Dominus Robert de Welburn) was very movingly read by Professor Bradley and Mrs Catherine Thorn.  The Choir, under the direction of John Hastie, sang extracts from Haydn’s Mass in F (Jugendemesse), and Lloyds “The Call” and Wesley’s “Lead Me Lord”.  Because of the Pandemic, the traditional Friends' Sunday Luncheon was not organised by the Trustees, but it is hoped that this will be reinstated next year.





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.

The Kirkdale Lecturer 2022 will be Christopher Binks whose lecture will concern the 19th-century coming of the North Eastern Railway through Kirkdale to Kirkbymoorside and destinations beyond - which made a considerable impact upon the economy of Kirkdale and the lifestyle of its inhabitants. As well as relics of the track itself still to be seen here and there in the landscape, one particular memorial to the benefits of countrywide transportation facilitated by the advent of the railway system happens to be the Chancel of St Gregory's Minster - for the rebuilding of which, stone was brought by rail from a far-distant Northern quarry. Fuller details will be posted here nearer the date.


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.

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Venue 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

Rievaulx Abbey

Stanbrook Abbey

Whitby Abbey

Fountains Abbey

William Burges churches

Ampleforth Abbey

Durham Cathedral

St Cuthbert, Chester-le-Street

St Paul Jarrow.

Hexham Priory

Bridlington Priory