Minster will glow red as a tribute to those we lost

Rev Hilary Barber at Halifax Minster.
Rev Hilary Barber at Halifax Minster.

Historic Halifax Minster will undergo a special transformation in time for Remembrance Sunday.

The Minster, which will be at the heart of the town’s remembrance weekend commemorations, will be illuminated red in a tribute to those who lost their lives in conflict.

The move is part of a national initiative - supported by the Prince of Wales - to illuminate cathedrals and broader churches red for the month of remembrance.

Vicar of Halifax, Hilary Barber, said: “We’re hoping that it will make people stop and think about why it is red and will remind them of the 
sacrifice that men and women gave in the past to secure our freedom of today.

“People are really delighted that we are doing something so special.”

There will be a chance to see the Minster bathed in red throughout November and the move will be a fitting accompaniment to the town’s remembrance weekend commemorations.

In a poignant procession, German soldiers will join members of the Yorkshire Regiment, the Duke of Wellington Association and the Royal British Legion in 
Halifax’s 2014 Remembrance Day parade - 100 years 
since the outbreak of World War 1.

The project has received backing from the Royal British Legion, who say the inclusion of German soldiers within the parade is ‘long overdue’.

A one colour party representing soldiers from the German Ministry of Defence local garrison near Halifax’s twin town of Aachen will be joined by a delegation representing the Lutheran Church, civic leaders, the German government and the German consulate.

“It just seems like the right thing to do,” said Rev Canon Barber.

“It says something about the generosity of Yorkshire people, who overcoming feelings of hurt and bitterness after two world wars have grown through this twinning relationship to come together for this unique anniversary and occasion.

“And whilst some people won’t approve, the people of Halifax are willing to take risks of friendship and forgiveness, as they strive to make a better and safer world for the future generations of Europe.”

Remembrance events will take place on Saturday and Sunday at Halifax Minster - which houses the regimental chapel of the town’s historic former Duke of Wellington’s Regiment, which was 
merged with the Green Howards and Prince of Wales’ Own Regiment to become 
the Yorkshire Regiment in 2006.

Rev Canon Barber added: “Remembrance Weekend is a time for remembering the dead, but it’s also about the healing of old wounds and gives a chance to forgive the atrocities of the past, but never forget them.”

The Halifax Choral Society and the Minster choirs will perform French composer Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem and Edward Elgar’s the Spirit of England at a commemoration service on Saturday.

On Remembrance Sunday there will be a service held at the Cenotaph, followed by a service at the Minster where German Lutheran 
Bishop Jens-Peter Bentzin will preach.