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Archbishop of York Visits Lancaster Priory

Saturday 11th August 2012

Dr John Sentamu will be coming to Lancaster Priory on 8th September 2012 at 6pm to preside at the Service of Dedication of the Priory’s new organ.


A local tradition tells that the foundation stone of Lancaster Priory was laid by John of Gaunt in around 1360, in a grand ceremony at which the then Archbishop of York presided.


Though we do not know if there is historical fact behind that tradition, it is a firm fixture in our diaries that the present Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu will be coming to Lancaster Priory on 8th September 2012 at 6pm to preside at the Service of Dedication of the Priory’s new organ. 


His visit marks the culmination of a major development in the Priory, which has seen the installation of the new Pipe Organ, in the largest change to the Priory since the construction of the South Entrance and the Regimental Chapel more than a century ago.


Two historic organs, one from Blackpool, and another from Blackburn (together with a splendid organ case built by Hubert Austin) have been saved from destruction and reworked into a splendid new organ for the Priory by David Wells Organ Builders from Liverpool. Although a great deal of money was donated to the Priory for this purpose, the whole scheme would not have been possible without the generous support of the Heritage Lottery Fund. 


The Revd Chris Newlands, Vicar of Lancaster said, “It is a great privilege to welcome Archbishop Sentamu to Lancaster Priory to dedicate the new Lancaster Priory Organ. There are many remarkable features in the Priory from different centuries of the Priory’s long history. We can be proud that our present century has created a fine organ to enhance our worship, and to be a musical resource for the wider community in Lancaster.”

Archbishop Sentamu said: “Augustine of Hippo said ‘God gave us music so that we may pray without words’ and ‘Whoever sings, worships twice’. I am delighted to dedicate this new Pipe Organ, to hear its wondrous sounds and to sing joyfully with the choir and congregation at Lancaster Priory”

About Lancaster Priory

Lancaster Priory is a Grade I listed building, which welcomes around 30,000 visitors a year. Together with the nearby Castle, it is on the site of the former Roman fort and Medieval City.

It is a thriving parish church served by a team of clergy and lay people, with a congregation which enjoys a high standard of church music from the Priory choir and organists. The Priory congregation is involved supporting the needs of the local community through various outreach opportunities, such as “Mustard Seed”, our kitchen which provides food for the homeless in the winter months. 


The Priory also has a Director of Development (Mr Jeremy Truslove) who is responsible for developing our links with local communities in Lancaster based on music and the opportunities given by the new Lancaster Priory Organ. 

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