Archbishop of York leads Rock Mass as guest of honour at Halifax church to give 'fresh perspective on worship'

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It was heavy guitars and drums rather than organs and choral voices filling a Halifax church when the Archbishop of York visited.

The Most Reverend Stephen Cottrell led a Rock Mass at Holy Nativity Church in Mixenden as part of the Diocese of Leeds’ 10th anniversary celebrations.

The service involved a blend of contemporary and classic rock music and traditional liturgy, aimed at invigorating attendees with “a fresh perspective on worship”.

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The Archbishop said the Rock Mass underscored The Church’s commitment to embracing new ways of engaging with the community while staying rooted in its rich heritage.

Rev Robb Sutherland and Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell at the Rock Mass at Holy Nativity Church in MixendenRev Robb Sutherland and Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell at the Rock Mass at Holy Nativity Church in Mixenden
Rev Robb Sutherland and Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell at the Rock Mass at Holy Nativity Church in Mixenden

"As a former vicar of Huddersfield, I know Mixenden well and it is inspiring to see the spirit of creativity and connection is still thriving in this fabulous community,” said The Most Reverend Cottrell.

The Rock Mass at Holy Nativity Mixenden is a monthly event that has been running for over 10 years.

"We were honoured to welcome the Archbishop for this special edition of our monthly Rock Mass,” said Rev Robb Sutherland from the church.

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"We are a small church on a North Halifax estate and it is wonderful to receive recognition for the creative energy in our community with such a high profile visitor.

"We were thrilled to be invited to share this transformative experience with everyone who joined us.”

The visit marks the start of a landmark year for the church which is about to launch a programme of creative arts events across the summer as part of its 70th anniversary celebrations and plans to redevelop the church building over the next three years.

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