Centuries old tradition set to return to Halifax’s historic Minster

A centuries old tradition is set to return to Halifax’s historic Minster church.

Tuesday, 18th May 2021, 12:31 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th May 2021, 12:32 pm
Halifax Minster

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about many restrictions and changes to our daily lives and forced us to think about doing things differently in order to remain safe and protect one another.

As a result, the traditional celebration of Mayor Making and Calderdale Council’s Annual Council meeting, following last week’s elections, will have a new ‘home’ this year; in the hallowed environs of Halifax’s beautiful Benedictine Minster on Wednesday, May 19 at noon.

Vicar of Halifax Minster, The Revd Canon Hilary Barber said: “The existing Council Chamber at Halifax Town Hall has limited space for social distancing, so a request has been made to use the Minster as the venue this year.

“This will take us right back to medieval times, when before the pews arrived in the 17th Century, the Nave of Minster was effectively the town square, where the weekly market took place, alongside the administration of law and order and political meetings, as well as Worship by the Benedictine monks.

“We are thrilled to be able to offer this space for this important occasion as this will see the Minster, one of the largest places in the borough, really coming into its own. The Minster is a place where everyone – those of religious faith and those of no religious faith – is always welcomed, and this day will be no exception.”

The meeting usually takes place in the Council Chamber at Halifax Town Hall.

Councillor Tim Swift, Leader of Calderdale Council, said: “We are pleased to be able to meet in person for this year’s Mayor Making and Annual Council, after last year’s meeting was cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“As the virus is still in our communities and safety is our priority, it’s not possible to hold the meeting at the Town Hall, as the Council Chamber has limited space for attendees to stay two metres apart. We are grateful to Halifax Minster for kindly enabling us to host the meeting in their beautiful building. Like the Town Hall, the Minster is a key part of our local heritage.

“COVID-19 guidance will be followed throughout the meeting, including a limit on attendee numbers, social distancing and wearing face coverings. People not attending the meeting can watch it on our YouTube channel.”