Canon Hilary Barber: Share your vision for Calderdale

​​Next month sees the public launch of Culturedale – a yearlong celebration of 50 years since the re organisation of local authorities across England, and the formation of Calderdale as a metropolitan borough.
This is your chance to have your say, and to share your vision for Calderdale going forward. Photo: AdobeStockThis is your chance to have your say, and to share your vision for Calderdale going forward. Photo: AdobeStock
This is your chance to have your say, and to share your vision for Calderdale going forward. Photo: AdobeStock

By Canon Hilary Barber, Vicar of Halifax Minster

We have so much to be proud of: the wonderful scenery of the hills and valleys; our ambition and creativity; the built heritage including Halifax Minster and The Piece Hall; our resilience against flooding and economic crashes; the economy built around financial services, manufacturing, and now the creative industries.

Today we can see small market towns across the borough, each with their own identity and thriving in their own way.

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During the last 16 years that I have lived here I’ve seen so much change in Halifax, and for the better I might add, and a strong sense in recent years of purpose, of people coming together to put the town and borough on the map.

Private, public and third sector have all played their part.

For the last ten years Calderdale Council has been working with its vision for 2024: Our vision for Calderdale is for a place where you can realise your potential whoever you are, whether your voice has been heard or unheard in the past.

We aspire to be a place where talent and enterprise can thrive.

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A place defined by our innate kindness and resilience, by how our people care for each other, are able to recover from setbacks and are full of hope.

Calderdale will stand out, be known and be distinctive.

A great place to visit, but most importantly, a place to live a larger life.

Most organisations nowadays have their vision statement and their strategy, sharing with the outside world what their hopes and dreams are and how they intended to get there.

It’s a way of communicating your values and moral compass.

Our mission statement in the Minster reads: Seeking God, Sharing Faith, Serving Halifax. We have our strategic plan built around what is known as The Five Marks of Mission, and Benedictine themes, reflecting the Benedictine community that built the Minster and influenced its early life.

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I recall the period when I chaired the Halifax Town Centre Management Company, which was our official trading name, but became known as Marketing Halifax, which really said to the outside world what we did for the town day in day out. Eventually the Company morphed into what we all know now as the Halifax BID (Business Improvement District).

The Council is now working hard to refresh a new vision for the Borough 2034.

Much work is being done to consult stakeholders and the general public on what we want the future to look like, and to identify some of the priorities for the Council, that we can all get behind and support and make it happen.

There is a consultation event in the Minster on Wednesday, April 18 in the evening from 6-9pm (including food!) to consult with the faith communities on the way forward.

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If you would like to come and join in this exercise, whether you are a person of faith or none, then you will be made most welcome.

Simply sign up either on the Minster website or through Calderdale Interfaith website so that we know you are coming and ensure we have plenty of food for everyone before we do a vision exercise to help shape the vision process already underway.

This is your chance to have your say, and to share your vision for Calderdale going forward.