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Archbishop In Wakefield To Celebrate Pentecost

The Nave at Wakefield Cathedral

Wednesday 15th May 2013

The Archbishop of York is in Wakefield this weekend to baptise and celebrate Holy Communion as part of the festival of Pentecost; and to join the traditional walk of witness through Horbury.

Dr John Sentamu will baptise five children in Wakefield Cathedral before setting off a basket of pigeons to mark the festival of Pentecost on the Cathedral steps. He will then join churchgoers, schoolchildren and civic dignitaries for the traditional walk of witness through Horbury.


Dr Sentamu said: “I am looking forward to presiding at the service in Wakefield Cathedral. It is wonderful to witness people making a public declaration about their trust in Jesus Christ. It’s great to make a fresh start with God – new beginnings are fantastic! With God’s help we can all commit to live differently. Putting others first and trusting in the Holy Spirit to lead us.”


It is the first time the Archbishop will have visited the renewed Cathedral and the Dean, the Very Revd Jonathan Greener said: “Pentecost is a great happy festival of the church when we celebrate the coming of the holy spirit and new life and what better way to mark Pentecost this year with our renewed cathedral than with the Archbishop of York who will come to bring us a message of hope and God’s love.”


The Archbishop will then join church members, schoolchildren, the Mayor and Mayoress of Wakefield and scores of other local organisations to process from St. John’s, Horbury Bridge shortly after 2pm accompanied by the Horbury Band.


The route will follow Quarry Hill and along Tithe Barn Street to St Peter’s Church for a service, presentations by the children of both Church Schools and an address by the Archbishop.


The Archbishop of York said: “Pentecost reminds us that the Church is not called to huddle in one place behind locked doors but to go out and share the Good News of Jesus Christ with everyone”.


The tradition of a Witness Walk at Whitsuntide is a long established one. It is believed that in Horbury, this has taken place since 1840. In 1865, Sabine Baring-Gould, then curate of St John’s Church in Horbury Bridge, wrote the words of the famous hymn, “Onward Christian Soldiers.” Tradition has it that the words were written for the children of the Parish to sing as they walked up the hill from St. John’s to St. Peter’s in Horbury itself, thus linking the two Churches. All are welcome to follow the procession and join in the service.

To watch a video of the service at Wakefield Cathedral

 About Pentecost...

Pentecost is a festival when Christians celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit. It is celebrated on the Sunday 50 days after Easter and is also called Whitsun and is regarded as the birthday of the Christian church and the start of the church's mission to the world.

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