Festival marks end of works at Cathedral

The Very Revd Jonathan Greener, Dean of Wakefield, standing in the new entrance for Wakefield Cathedral.
The Very Revd Jonathan Greener, Dean of Wakefield, standing in the new entrance for Wakefield Cathedral.

Wakefield Cathedral will open its doors after five years of renovation work.

And it has announced a festival of events to celebrate the completion of the work, with headline act Yorkshire-born Clare Teal, winner of British Jazz singer 2015.

The £6.5 million makeover, to restore the Grade I-listed building for mission and for use by the community, began in 2012.

The first phase of the project saw the removal of the pews, followed by the complete refurbishment and overhaul of the nave.

And phase two of the renovation, named ‘Project 2015’, involved the refurbishment of the East End of the cathedral, including new lighting, a level floor, a renewed St Mark’s Chapel and the creation of a quiet area.

The Dean of Wakefield, the Very Reverend Jonathan Greener said: “From top to bottom, east to west, this is one of the most dramatic refurbishments of any cathedral in this country for a long time.

“We have renewed the interior, the crypt and even under the stairs, and it’s fabulous.”

The renewed Cathedral will be rededicated in a special service led by the Bishop of Leeds Nick Baines on Saturday, May 14.

The Dean will also launch a festival of events called ‘This is Wakefield Cathedral’.

Alongside daily worship, BBC Radio 2’s Clare Teal will headline the festival on June 3.

And the festival will also include Bethlehem dancers, Carlton Main Frickley Colliery Band, Come and Sing choral Classics, Her Majesty Queen’s 90th birthday celebration and weekly Tuesday lunchtime concerts and political debates.

Dean Greener said “We will be opening our doors to reveal our Cathedral in all its glory with a festival of events to say thank you to all those who helped us achieve this and to celebrate all that we are and all that we do.

“We invite you to come and see for yourself.”

The refurbishment work, completed with the help of funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, will be revealed on Monday, May 9.

And free tours will take place at noon, on Monday to Friday next week.

To find out more about the events and book tickets, visit www.wakefieldcathedral.org.uk/whats-on/this-is-wakefield-cathedral