Tomorrow is a special anniversary for the Christian Church in what was once the vast medieval parish of Halifax. On 30th March 1555, Robert Ferrar, Bishop of St David’s Diocese, South Wales, was put to death by burning at the stake in Carmarthen.
Bishop Ferrar was born in Ewood near Midgley, Halifax. He died for his Protestant faith at the time of the Reformation, in the reign of Queen Mary 1. Four other Bishops (including an Archbishop) were executed similarly (over 200 laity suffered). Of all parish churches and minsters of the Church of England, Halifax Minster has the only memorial erected to Bishop Robert, the Yorkshire Martyr. It is a unique treasure of Halifax. The memorial, a stone canopy-monument, was erected in 1847. It was carved by the Halifax sculptor J B Leyland and stands beneath the West Window of the South Aisle. Painted on the memorial is an inscription describing the bravery of Bishop Robert’s dying. His faith and courage, maintained throughout, is an inspiration to us today. He died believing in the Resurrection of Jesus his Lord. Tomorrow is a time of encouragement to modern Christians.
Frank Carless (Rev)