This Parish Profile was created in 2017 when the present incumbent was appointed.
It is archived here for general interest but some of the information will now be historic.
- Looking to the Future
- Where we serve
- The Minster
- Who we are
- Our People
- The Vicarage
“Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus.”
Our parish is a family of five churches in the beautiful East Yorkshire market town of Beverley. We are men, women and children who together seek to rejoice in God, reflect Christ in all we do, and reveal the Spirit to our town.
Much of what we do is formal and liturgical, some is more informal; yet however we worship we do so in the knowledge that we are loved by God, and in the desire to share that love with those around us including through our wider ministry. Beverley Minster has ancient foundations, but the parish is always developing; we are proud of our heritage, and at the same time we look forward to the future in joyful anticipation of where God will take us.
We are thankful to God for all that He has done through the work of our previous Vicar. We are ready to continue our journey in the company of a new Vicar who will walk with us and help us to discern the next steps in our continuing journey of faith and witness.
2. Looking to the Future
“For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.”
Servants of the Gospel
As a family of associated churches and congregations our core purpose is to be:
- A People of Worship – Rejoicing in God
- A Light to the World – Reflecting Christ
- A Community of Love – Revealing the Spirit
To do this we are committed to growing in
Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus (Phil 2. 5)
by radiating God’s love in all aspects of our life, deepening our worship, prayer and study, praying for the world and the church, and encouraging each other to grow in faith.
Present your bodies as a living sacrifice (Rom 12. 1)
by demonstrating the values of the Kingdom of God, looking for and revealing Christ in serving our neighbour, and caring for each other as we care for all.
We who are many are one body in Christ (Rom 12. 5)
by working for the common good, building strong relationships with our sister churches, working with organisations which will serve and transform our community, and playing a full part in the life of the local, national and global Church.
Let your light shine before others (Matt 5. 16)
by seeing all of life as an opportunity for service and ministry, being a positive Christian presence in our community and wider society, and helping individuals to be salt and light in their places of work, service and leisure.
Go and make disciples of all nations (Matt 28. 19)
by living and spreading the gospel locally and globally, making and growing disciples, welcoming and inspiring residents, visitors and pilgrims, and telling the Good News through our people, history and buildings.
We are in the process of developing a strategy, with SMART objectives, to help us fulfil our vision.
Our new Vicar
Our vision is to be a bridge to the future.
We are seeking a new Vicar who will share this vision and who has the ambition and strategy to inspire and guide us forward as a committed people of God to finish the bridge.
We believe there are some solid foundations in place.
- The musical tradition, our choir and the magnificent building are huge assets to worship which need nurture.
- All the congregations are resilient and faithful. There are many keen volunteers who support both the ministry and the broader work of the Minster and the Associated Churches.
- The Minster is a significant presence in the community. It is the dominating physical presence. It is seen as a spiritual home to many, even if they are irregular church attenders. Many are drawn in for events, concerts, exhibitions and the magnificence of the building, giving us a wonderful opportunity for mission. This is also true of the Associated Churches in their smaller and individual communities.
- The strength of long standing ecumenical partnerships provides opportunities in Beverley and the villages for mission and service.
- The Minster has a strong reputation for the quality and variety of its services and worship.
- The PCC supports the vision through committing resources to support it, not least in the number of paid staff to support music, youth work and effective administration.
- The support of the Old Fund and the Friends of Beverley Minster in maintaining and enhancing the building.
We have identified some building blocks which we hope the new Vicar can help us put into place.
- The volunteers need their gifts and skills recognised and developed through training and support and be provided with encouragement and leadership.We recognise the demands of leading this parish and are keen to share the load. This could help us to achieve such things as:
Sustain the pastoral support network
Develop and increase the number of house groups to sustain our faith
Develop and promote the opportunities for fellowship
Improve and sustain our welcome to new worshippers
Nurture and support our non-paid members of the ministry team
- There are opportunities for church growth.
Sustaining support for those who use the church for weddings, baptisms and funerals
The work of our Children’s and Youth Minister needs supporting to build upon our contact with children and young people at schools and colleges and their involvement at the Minster
Younger families are under-represented in the congregation
Beverley is growing as a town with 2,000 new homes being built just to the south of the Minster
- The Associated Churches offer the potential for a sharing of provision and resources.
- Our visible presence needs to be enhanced by service to the community, which is inclusive.
- To sustain continuity in worship that inspires love and hope, encourages discipleship and is rooted in prayer.
- The house for duty vacancy offers the opportunity to expand and reshape the ministry team. We are very aware of the workload of our Vicar.
If these are our foundations and building blocks our new Vicar will be the architect who will help us achieve our vision – our bridge to the future. We are praying for a new vicar who can:
- Inspire us to a deeper discipled relationship with Christ through inspirational teaching and worship.
- Be a visionary and innovator who through encouragement, motivation and nurture will enable us all through collaboration to fulfil our aspirations to serve God, each other and the community.
- Be accessible and personable, empathetic to the diversity of experience and views of church members and be resolute in his/her convictions when necessary to manage a range of sometimes conflicting priorities.
- Continue to use our wonderful building and strong musical traditions as an asset to worship.
- Engage positively with the wider community.
- Show a heart for mission and a desire to nurture new Christians.
- Be ambitious and focused for the challenge of ministry in the parish. There is an openness about a fresh approach.
- Carry forward the Heritage Lottery Fund bid with St Mary’s Church, the Joint Board and the Project Development Officer.
As one parishioner expressed it, “We need a saint. We probably won’t get one! We will be delighted with a mortal whom we feel we can support in his/her development of the parish’s mission and worship.”
Please be aware that if you express an interest in being our new Vicar, we will be praying for you to know God’s will.
3. Where we serve
“God will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them”
Hebrews 6:10 (abbreviated)
The stunning market town of Beverley is often voted as one of the best places to live in the UK. It is a lively market town with a medieval skyline that is remarkably unspoilt. With its historical buildings, cobbled streets, and small town charm there is something for everyone.
The Georgian Quarter has architecturally fascinating streets, divided by the 15th century North Bar and contains a large number of listed buildings.The town centre has a large market place, with a thriving weekly market, with a variety of shops, coffee houses and restaurants. Flemingate, a new retail development, is home to many high street retailers, East Riding College and a six screen cinema, which complements the nearby theatre.
Beverley is a culturally rich town. There are music festivals, concerts, a literature festival, folk festival and puppet festival. In addition there are two food festivals, a huge Christmas market, flat racing and regular cycle races. There are many opportunities for active involvement in sport. There is an excellent leisure centre, golf club, squash club, tennis club and wide variety of football and rugby clubs.The town is flanked on its south and west sides by the Westwood, a huge area of pastureland which is recreational space for everyone.
If all this is not enough the unspoilt countryside of the Yorkshire Wolds, spectacular coastal locations and resorts, together with the cities of York and Hull, are all within easy reach. There are direct rail links with London, Leeds and Manchester, whilst Humberside Airport can be reached in 30 minutes by car.
4. The Minster
“Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for Him.”
Beverley Minster is one of the most beautiful Gothic buildings in Europe. Simon Jenkins in “England’s Best One Thousand Churches” (published by Penguin in 1999) writes,
“There are many candidates for the “best” non-cathedral church in England, but Beverley Minster most often takes the palm”.
The Minster and its choir on You Tube
Such a magnificent building brings added roles, responsibilities and opportunities. It has been a member of the Greater Churches Network since 1991. Its regional significance sees it host many civic services. The Minster attracts 60,000 visitors a year. Many of these are inspired to visit by the national coverage given by such things as the Minster being used as a venue for the Antiques Roadshow and Songs of Praise in the same week in 2010 and its use as Westminster Abbey for ITV’s Victoria, broadcast in 2016. The Minster hosts many concerts, exhibitions and events which significantly add to the footfall. The annual Christmas Tree Festival, for example, attracts nearly 6,000 people.
This presents us with a wonderful opportunity to provide witness and mission to large numbers of people, many of whom are not regular church goers. Over 7,000 prayer candles are lit each year and many can be seen taking advantage of the inspirational ambience to pray, which is enhanced by our daily midday prayers.
In addition to the Minster there are other properties which serve our congregation and community.
Map of the Minster Precinct
The Parish Centre stands at right angles to the Vicarage. It is an attractive 18th century building which was once the Bluecoat school. It is now the administrative hub of the Minster, housing offices for the Vicar, Parish Secretary,Youth Minister, Curate and Parish Accountant. In addition there is a reception area, kitchen, meeting room and a quiet room for reflection and prayer. Next to the Parish Centre is the Quiet Garden.
The Parish Hall, Peter Harrison Room and Emmaus Room vary in size but are all available to the congregation and are hired to community groups and other organisations.
Two Churches One Town Story
“Cultivating the transformation of people through their learning and experience of the remarkable artistry and heritage of Beverley and its major churches.”
Beverley has two Major Parish Churches, one at either end of its busy retail centre. St Mary’s and Beverley Minster are significant buildings both in scale, larger than some cathedrals, and rich in heritage and art. Beverley Minster is among the finest Gothic structures in Europe whilst St Mary’s is equally magnificent with medieval painted artwork and sculptures.
The two churches both require extensive repairs. St Mary’s stonework needs urgent attention with costs estimated at £5m and a similar cost outlay is expected for the Minster’s lead roofing work. A mutual understanding has grown and strengthened over the last two years, culminating in the two churches working together in a united goal both to raise the funding required and to reach out in mission to the wider community.
The relationship and the building of the two churches and the town’s community is a story rich in cultural heritage, art and drama. The project not only seeks to conserve these two significant buildings but also to provide a platform for as many people as possible to access this unique story. This exciting project has the support of both the East Riding of Yorkshire and Beverley Town councils.
A joint funding bid will be made to the HLF for £10m with another £5m fundraising targeted elsewhere to support the bid. The two churches have commissioned a joint Conservation Management Plan and have assembled a Joint Project Board to govern the project. The vicars of both churches provide the leadership of this board.
A project vision has been developed by the Board and a Project Development Manager appointed to oversee and manage the development of the materials needed for a successful Round 1 and then Round 2 HLF bid. The Round 1 bid will be submitted in November 2017.
5. Who we are
“Where two or three gather together in my name, I am there among them.”
The Parish of Beverley Minster, St John and St Martin (1) covers an area to the north, east and south of the town, including the Associated Churches at Molescroft (4), Tickton (5) and Woodmansey (6). Routh is a separate Parish north east of Beverley of which the Vicar of the Minster is priest in charge. Much of the old town is in the Parish of St Mary’s (3). The third Anglican church in Beverley is St Nicholas’ Church (2).
The estimated population for Beverley in 2015 was 30,000. Expansion continues with planning granted for another 2,000 homes south of the Minster and within its parish. 93% of the population are white British and 65.5% declare themselves as Christians.
Age profile, based on the 2011 census – see Appendix
The Parish has been under the patronage of the Simeon Trustees for two hundred years and has an ‘open evangelical’ feel. The clergy preside at Eucharist in alb and stole. There is an openness in the congregation to a wider variety of styles of worship. There is a range of services, from the cathedral-style choral services, the intimacy of a charismatic healing service, the grandeur of a major Christmas service, the warmth of a rural Evensong, the vibrancy of an informal service and the measured feel of Common Worship Holy Communion. There are opportunities to engage in evangelism and outreach; in spirituality and pastoral care, to the elderly and the very young.
There are several special services in the worship calendar.
St John of Beverley Service. The service to celebrate the founder of the Minster is attended by civic leaders from all parts of Yorkshire together with church leaders in the town.
Civic Services. Services for East Riding of Yorkshire Council, Beverley Town Council, and the High Sheriff’s Legal Service are hosted when required.
Annual Service of Remembrance. Joined by the armed forces from the nearby military base at Leconfield and civic dignitaries, attendance is about 800. At 17.30 on Remembrance Sunday the Minster Choir sings Fauré’s Requiem.
Bereavement Services. Special services are held three times a year for those recently bereaved.
Good Friday – The traditional BCP Matins service with Litany procession is followed by a procession through the town to the Market Cross where we join the ecumenical outdoor service. In alternate years the Beverley Passion takes place.
Easter Day – There are services at 8.00, 10.30 and 16.00. Total attendance is about 600.
Advent Procession. An atmospheric, cathedral-style service, moving from darkness to light, attended by over 500 people from a wide area.
Overall attendance on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day is over 2,750 of which nearly 500 are children.
500 attend the Churches Together in Beverley Carol Service.
Crib services. The success of our crib service necessitated the introduction of a second service on Christmas Eve. Each caters for about 300 children and adults.
Due to the popularity of the Nine Lessons and Carols service we introduced two services on 23 and 24 December at 18.30 in 2016, attended by 1,200 people.
The Associated Churches
The Church in Tickton (Local Ecumenical Partnership)
“The Church in Tickton aims to enable the Christian people of Tickton to worship together in one fellowship, working and praying for the spread of the Gospel, through involvement in the life of the village community and a sharing of our faith and our human and material resources.”
The church in Tickton is a Local Ecumenical Partnership (LEP) between the Methodist and Anglican Churches which formally began in 1994. Pastoral responsibility is shared between the Vicar of Beverley Minster and a Minister from the Beverley Methodist Circuit. At the formation of the LEP both Methodist and Anglican buildings were retained – St Paul’s and the Methodist Church – and both are well-used for community events, organised by the church, such as the village Scarecrow Hunt.
Tickton has been connected with Beverley Minster since the reign of King Athelstan in the 10th century. Today Tickton, a village 2 miles east of Beverley, has about 600 houses, 300 of which are on 4 modern estates.
Sunday worship takes place in St Paul’s, except for monthly All-Age services, which use the Methodist Church. St Paul’s is a venue for weddings conducted by clergy from both denominations; baptisms are celebrated in either building.
The Church in Tickton has lively youth and children’s work and there are close links with the village Church of England, Voluntary Controlled School which has a roll of about 180 children. Several members of the church are on the Governing Body of the school, and the two clergy, together with youth workers from both denominations are involved in weekly collective worship.
St. Paul’s was built in 1846 and seats about 100 and is coming to the end of a re-ordering process involving provision of a toilet and kitchen, already in use, and a modified accessible entrance porch. The Methodist Church consists of a 100-seat carpeted hall (an excellent venue for All-Age and informal worship, plus special services, such as the Christingle), a kitchen, toilet and a small meeting room.
St Leonard’s, Molescroft
St Leonard’s Church, built in 1896, is situated on the northern edge of the town in the expanding area of Molescroft. The church can accommodate 70. An extension has increased the use of the building by adding a kitchenette and toilet.
Regular Sunday worship is the 9.00 Holy Communion Common Worship service, with a 15.00 Evensong from the Book of Common Prayer every fifth Sunday. The congregation at this service is growing. During the year there are a number of special services. These include:
- The Harvest Festival BCP service with the Minster Choir. This service, which attracts our largest congregation, is followed by the harvest supper.
- Carol and Christmas Services.
- Pet Service
- Mothers’ Union Songs of Praise.
As a warm and welcoming church every service is followed by refreshments to encourage fellowship.
Pebbles is a weekly group for pre-school children and their carers with crafts, toys, songs and refreshments.
Recognising the opportunities of the new housing development the Management Committee have organised a new venture. A Fun Day for all the family takes place on May Day Bank Holiday, with the St Leonard’s gazebo providing a focus on the green of the new development. Carol singing evenings around the new housing have proved to be a great success.
St Peter’s, Woodmansey
Since 1898 St Peter’s church has been a centre for Anglican worship for the residents of Woodmansey and the surrounding area.
For much of the nineteenth century, Anglican Church services for those living in Woodmansey were conducted in the Methodist Chapel at Thearne. The first Anglican centre of worship in Woodmansey was the present school, built in 1856. This arrangement however doesn’t appear to have been entirely satisfactory and in 1896 work commenced on a church on the opposite side of the road. The Church was finally consecrated on 9 December 1898 by the Archbishop of York, with many local dignitaries being present. The Church is now a prominent local landmark on the main road through Woodmansey and continues to serve the local community.
St Peter’s holds services of worship each Sunday morning and is regularly used for baptisms, weddings and funerals. It is also used for school services and provides an essential meeting place to celebrate religious festivals such as Christmas and Easter. It also acts as a focal point for those wishing to remember the passing of loved ones and the sacrifice made by local residents in wartime, holding an annual Armistice Day service and act of remembrance at the cenotaph opposite the church.
Other activities that happen within the village are:
- prayer visiting approximately three times per year. This culminates in prayers requested from either prayer cards or verbal requests when the prayer team call.
- Clergy and Youth Worker carry out activities in the school.
- Carol singing throughout the village on the run-up to Christmas.
- Carol event in the Warton Arms Pub.
St Peter’s Churchyard is recognised as a designated Commonwealth War Grave site, containing graves of members of the armed forces, a number of whom are remembered within the church.
All Saints’, Routh
All Saints’ is a two star listed building and the PCC are proud to be custodians who are aware that this church must be preserved as it has been standing and used for services since the 12th century.
There are two services a month – a communion service at 9.15 and one Evensong service at 18.30.
All Saints’ has been under the ‘umbrella’ of the Minster since 1963. The Minster has provided All Saints’ with a Priest in Charge as we are a Parish Church in our own right. The support we receive from the Minster is much appreciated.
The new incumbent will need to recognise the difficulties there are in this rural community and small congregation.
“Let us not give up meeting together….but let us encourage one another.”
Hebrews 10: 25
Fellowship is very important to us and we express this in a number of different ways.
Children and Families
Several groups provide for babies up to pre-school age children with their parents, grandparents or carers. These groups provide a valuable service for the communities, providing social interaction and opportunities to build relationships with families, and to come alongside and support parents and carers.
Time Out is the longest-running baby and toddler group, meeting weekly with toys, crafts, snacks and songs. Many become involved in other Minster activities.
Me & My Dad meets monthly on Saturday mornings with toys, crafts and breakfast, creating a friendly community of support for dads, grandads and male carers.
Pebbles is a baby and toddler group at St Leonard’s church. A small group of families meets weekly during term time for toys, crafts and snacks.
This work is followed up with events and groups for primary school-aged children outside the context of a school event. These are opportunities to explore the Gospel story with children who are starting to ask questions about their faith.
Messy Church follows the national standard of meeting together as a group to explore the bible with crafts, prayer, stories, songs and a meal. This group meets once a fortnight in term time and is often supplemented by other Minster groups.
Sunday Club is the weekly activity group which meets on Sunday mornings during the 10.30 Holy Communion service. Crafts, stories and prayers are based on the readings of the day.
To lead into all our children’s work large events are organised to invite children and families into the Minster. Family Days are held, usually once a term, with themes based on popular children’s books. They are an opportunity to open the Minster up to the community for crafts, stories, games, prayer and refreshments.
The youth work at Beverley Minster has different groups from an informal youth group to one-on-one mentoring.
Emmaus is a weekly youth group for secondary school aged children. More than twenty young people meet each week in a safe space where they can chill out, play video games, pool or table tennis, get food from the tuck shop and access the leaders for support.
Choristers’ sessions are provided during the Sunday morning service. During the service they meet for teaching, discussion and response.
Classes prepare candidates for confirmation.
Schools and Colleges
There are 3 secondary schools, 9 primary schools and an East Riding College campus. Of these, there are three Church of England Primary Schools: Minster, Tickton and Woodmansey. Members of the Minster are involved as school governors. Traditionally the Vicar has been an ex-officio governor at the Boys’ Grammar School.
Collective Worship at the church schools is assisted by members of the clergy and the Youth and Children’s Minister on a regular basis.
Lunch Clubs are run by the Beverley Schools’ Christian Trust, assisted by the Minster youth team.
‘Experience Christmas’ and ‘Experience Easter’ workshops take place in the Minster.
REaction has taken place for ten years with funding from a local charity. Every term the Minster invites about 200 school children to learn about a topic on their RE syllabus in a series of workshops.
East Riding College has a new campus close to the Minster providing opportunities for work with post 16 students.
CAMEO – Come And Meet Each Other
An informal meeting where women of the parish regularly come together to meet and encourage one another.
Dorcas is the Minster sewing group, meeting every Tuesday morning. Several members of the group have been on weekend courses on the conservation and restoration of ecclesiastical embroidery. It also undertakes mending, including clergy robes. A stall of hand-made items at Christmas raises money for its projects.
House groups. The Minster has a number of House Groups in which people meet informally for prayer, bible study, discussion and fellowship. Most meet weekly and meetings are held during the daytime or evening.
Men’s Group. A breakfast meeting every month for fellowship, bible study and Christ-centred discussion of contemporary issues. There is also a monthly evening meeting in a local pub to hear personal testimony.
Mothers’ Union. Meetings are held on the first and third Tuesday of the month, except for August. The clergy support the meetings by accepting invitations to speak and presiding at their annual Wave of Prayer service.
Food and Fellowship. A monthly social occasion for those living on their own.
Beverley Minster Walkers. An enthusiastic group who meet weekly.
Minster Golfers meet with golfers from St Mary’s at Beverley Golf Club.
7. Our People
“You are all one in Christ Jesus.”
- The Vicar – Vacancy
- Assistant Curate – Gareth Atha – Stipendiary
- House for Duty Post – Vacancy
- Youth and Children’s Minister – Ben Merrell
- Ministry is also supported by 4 retired clergy, 4 Readers and 4 RPAs
- Director of Music – Robert Poyser
- Assistant Organist – Ian Seddon (p/t)
- Head Virger – Robyn Cleveland
- Assistant Virgers – George Oakes, Kevin Hara (p/t)
- Parish Secretary – Christine Bull
- Office Assistant – Roz Lewis
- Parish Accountant – Simon Whitfield (p/t)
There is also a Shop Manager, employed by Beverley Minster Shop Ltd. Maintenance staff are employed by the Old Fund.
Lay people are active throughout church life, in pastoral care and evangelism through, for example, baptism preparation and services in care homes.
Prayer team. In the Minster congregation there is a group of people who are available to pray for others. They have received training in prayer ministry and meet regularly to pray for each other and the needs of others. They are available to pray with members of the congregation at most main Sunday 10.30 services, and Thursday healing services. They also operate a prayer chain, so that urgent needs can be communicated to the rest of the group from any one person.
Servers. A dedicated team of men and women serve at the altar at the Minster services at the Thursday and Sunday BCP and Common Worship services. The team aid in the preparation and distribution of communion at the applicable services.
Lay administrants. A number of the congregation are licensed to administer communion during services and a small number take reserved sacrament to housebound communicants.
‘Start!’ and ‘Pilgrim’ Courses are held through the year, to develop and nurture disciples.
Pastoral Care. A new scheme has been developed, with a large number of ‘pastoral friends’ complementing the work of housegroups and others in ensuring that there is ‘someone for everyone’. There is a separate bereavement team.
Minster flower arrangers. If you visit the Minster you will be struck by the beautiful flower arrangements, created by our dedicated flower arrangers.
As a people of God there is a vast array of gifted and committed volunteers to further the ministry of the Minster.
There are five church wardens at the Minster and three assistant wardens, one at each Associated Church.
The PCC has 31 trustees who are all encouraged to be active on one or more committees. These include Finance, Visitor Ministry, Worship, Property, Mission Action, Enterprise, Youth and Children and the Standing Committee. The PCC is supported by the PCC Secretary, Treasurer, Legacies Officer, Electoral Roll Officer, Gift Aid and Weekly Envelope Secretary.
Minster Shop. The Minster shop, whilst owned by the PCC, has its own Board of Directors. It is a key facility for our visitors and also a valuable source of income, donating about £20,000 a year. This would not be possible without our loyal band of 46 volunteers.
The Minster Welcome Team consists of about forty people whose purpose is to ensure that the 60,000 visitors a year to the Minster are made to feel welcome. Welcomers are on duty between 10.00 and 16.00 each day.
Bell ringers. There is an enthusiastic group of ringers. The bells are rung before Sunday worship at 10.30 and 17.30 and on special occasions.
Parish Centre. Eight volunteers act as receptionists.
The number of volunteers is evidenced by the 90 or more who support the Christmas Tree Festival by gaining sponsorship, erecting trees, providing welcome and refreshments, stewarding and taking the trees down.
Our volunteers at the Minster and the Associated Churches are dedicated to helping and supporting our ministers, churches and communities.
“Sing to Him, sing praises to Him; tell of all his wonderful works.”
- Director of Music – Robert Poyser (full time)
- Assistant Organist – Ian Seddon (part time)
- Organ Scholar – Dominic Joyce (in conjunction with the University of Hull)
- Director of the Junior Choir – Rachel Jerome (voluntary)
A service list is compiled and published each month on the Minster’s website and shows details of the music played and sung. ‘Hymns Old and New’ (New Anglican Edition) is the standard hymn book used at almost all the services, although it is our intention to replace this with Common Praise in the near future. Service sheets are produced for All-Age services when contemporary worship songs will be included, and on special occasions. A sheet containing the hymns, responsorial psalm and collect is produced each Sunday. At present, the Director of Music chooses the hymns and a team of those involved selects the hymns and songs for All-Age and Sunday at 7 informal service.
There are currently nearly 80 people involved in music on a weekly basis as part of the Minster’s choirs. Over 60 of them are under 18. The choir is essentially voluntary although members receive a small honorarium on a quarterly basis. There are usually three choral services a week although at certain times in the year the choir is considerably busier. During choir holidays we welcome visiting choirs and also run a voluntary group of singers from within the congregation to help lead worship.
Recent highlights include:
- Tour to Germany October 2016
- CD recording ‘Sing Epiphany’
- Appearances on TV as part of Victoria and King Charles III
- Choir tour to Coventry Cathedral planned for October 2017
There are separate boys’ and girls’ choirs, strengthened by two adult sopranos and a ‘back row’ comprising former choristers and adults. In January 2017 we started a Junior Choir (aged 4 to 8) and this has had an encouraging start with a good membership.
The choir rehearses in a dedicated Song Room in the Parish Hall and benefits from a new piano funded by the Friends of the Minster.
The Music Department and Youth Ministry have, over the past few years introduced regular Sunday morning sessions for the choristers during worship and this has led to a regular flow of confirmation candidates from within the choir and their families.
There are ongoing funding schemes to assist with the provision of music at the Minster. Endowment grants totalling £20,000 from the Friends of Cathedral Music and the Ouseley Trust in 2015 were received to help fund the post of Assistant Organist. Sponsorship, fundraising concerts and donations continue to increase this fund but there is further work needed to develop this.
At All-Age and Worship Teaching and Ministry (Sunday at 7) services the Music Group provides the music. The group is a combination of voices and instruments, jointly managed by group member Pippa Milner, the Director of Music and Assistant Organist. The group currently leads two services a month.
The Minster Organ
The Organ is a fusion of 1769 Snetzler, 1885 Hill and 1995 Wood of Huddersfield (who maintain the instrument). It has recently undergone extensive maintenance and some tonal adjustment. It has four manuals, over 4,000 pipes and is considered to be one of the finest. There is a separate organ fund. A new CD recorded by the Director of Music of the newly restored organ will be released by Priory Records in 2017.
A Steinway Grand piano was bought by the Friends of Beverley Minster and this is used in worship and for concerts. There is scope to use this more. In addition a Yamaha keyboard is available.
The Minster is a very busy place with concerts throughout the year. Festivals (Beverley Early Music Festival, New Paths), local choirs and ensembles (Invitatione, East Riding County Choir, and Beverley Chamber Choir), individual performers and celebrity events are all hosted.The Minster appears on a circuit of Cathedral tours for top names – recently Russell Watson, Aled Jones and G4 amongst others.
“Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.”
The Beverley Minster Old Fund
The ongoing upkeep of the fabric of the Minster is, of course, absolutely essential, and the Minster is greatly blessed by having a separate organisation which is now called The Beverley Minster Old Fund. This is a charitable organisation set up by Queen Elizabeth I as an Endowment in 1579 and was originally called Queen Elizabeth’s Church Endowment.
Each year the PCC delegates to the Old Fund the responsibility for the maintenance of the fabric of the Minster and the responsibilities for repair and maintenance are clearly defined.
Over the years the Old Fund has built up a portfolio of investments using funds gifted to the Old Fund by individuals during their lifetime or from legacies bequeathed to them. The interest from these investments are used to undertake works which have been identified by the Minster Architect in his Quinquennial Survey or work of a general routine or emergency nature. The Old Fund currently employs one full-time and one part-time workman, as well as contracting with two stonemasons to undertake these works. Major projects are undertaken on an as needs basis. All works are overseen by the Minster Architect who is assisted on a local basis by the Surveyor to the Minster.
The Old Fund is the responsibility of 12 Trustees including the Mayor of Beverley, the Archdeacon, the Vicar, representatives appointed by The Archbishop of York, the Dean and Chapter of the Cathedral of York, the Parish of St Mary and St Nicholas, East Riding County Council and the PCC as well as two Co-opted Trustees. The Trustees meet four times per year and are supported by a part time Clerk/Treasurer.The Trustees are from a variety of backgrounds to provide a spread of expertise to oversee all aspects of the Old Fund’s responsibilities.
The Friends of Beverley Minster
The Friends, founded in 1936, is one of the earliest such organisations in the country,and has approximately 500 members with many living outside Yorkshire. They are united by a love of the building; a number are members of the congregation but many are not (and by no means all are practising Christians).
The Friends has a broad remit for enhancing the building and what goes on within it – its fabric, activities and furnishings. It also promotes public interest in the Minster, its history and its work through a regular programme of workshops, guided tours, lectures, day schools and tours to places of interest.
Examples of Friends’ work include the artworks in the retro-quire (window, pilgrim statues, prayer benches); the metal and glass front to the Minster Shop, and three-year funding of the Assistant Organist post (one of a number of ways in which Friends support the Minster’s music). The Friends have helped to publish several books on the Minster including a guide for young people and (in December 2016) ‘Of a faire uniforme making’ (a history of the construction of the building with important new findings).
The Friends work closely with the PCC and the Old Fund. For example the Friends purchased a Steinway grand piano but the PCC pays for its maintenance; the Friends funded a survey of windows in the Minster to inform Old Fund investment in their restoration; the Friends and PCC shared the cost of new chairs in the nave.
The Vicar is a member of the Friends’ Council.
Churches Together in Beverley
The local churches work together in prayer, worship and mission, seeking to grow in faith and share the message of God’s love in word and action. In 2015 this was evidenced by the joint “Festival of Life” which was held in June. In 2016 the Passion Play once again re-enacted the events of Holy Week in the streets of Beverley. Other important joint work by Churches Together in Beverley includes help for refugees arriving in Hull and areas nearby, Beverley Schools’ Christian Trust, Sport for Everyone, Try Praying, a leaflet with details of all Christian churches in Beverley and outreach to new housing estates.
“And this Good News of the Kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the world.”
The Minster is active in communicating with a broad audience. The website has examples of all our publications.
Our main methods of communications are:
- Weekly notice sheet available at all services and on-line.
- Parish Magazine, published monthly in full colour, here or on paper.
- Our well constructed and maintained website which has over 12,000 page hits each month.
- A “What’s On” published 3 times a year which details all the services, events and concerts at the Minster. 2,500 are published and are distributed to 31 hotels and other tourist outlets.
- An e-newsletter is sent to 800+ e-mail addresses each month.
- The Minster has 1164 followers on Twitter and averages 800 likes each month on Facebook.
11. The Vicarage
“My people shall live in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.”
The vicarage was built in the 1960s. On the ground floor are two main reception rooms, kitchen, large study and a cloakroom. On the first floor there are four bedrooms, a family bathroom and a separate shower room. To the front there is a grassed area and a U shaped drive with larger gardens to the rear.
The vicarage is only a few yards from the Minster whilst the town centre is a two minute walk away.
The Vicar also has use of the Vicar’s Garden, a private area held under trust for the Vicar’s use.
The Vicarage is in the catchment area of Beverley Minster Primary School, Beverley Boys’ Grammar School and Beverley Girls’ High School. Each school has its own website.