Birthday bash marred by an anxious wait

Wakefield Cathedral refurb work.'w313g313
Wakefield Cathedral refurb work.'w313g313

A party in the precinct will mark the 125th anniversary of the Wakefield Diocese this weekend, as the church council prepares to decide its fate.

The parish church of All Saints became Wakefield Cathedral in 1888, and the Wakefield Diocese was born.

But July 8 could spell its end, when members of the General Synod make a decision on whether it should be dissolved, along with the diocese of Bradford and Ripon and Leeds, and replaced with a single, larger Diocese of Leeds – dubbed the ‘super diocese.’

Senior clergy from the Wakefield and the surrounding areas are calling for everyone to come together and ‘Pray for Wakefield’ on the day the decision is due to be voted on in York.

It could be the first time synod members vote to dissolve a diocese against its will, after Wakefield voted against the proposals earlier this year, saying ‘bigger isn’t always better’ and that the benefits of the change do not justify its ‘considerable cost’.

The day of prayer will be held at Wakefield Cathedral from 12.30pm until 4pm.

The Bishop of Wakefield, the Rt Rev Stephen Platten said: “We in Wakefield are not against change, we know we need to change, we know the time is right for wholesale change across the Church of England.

“This year our diocese celebrates 125 years of service and mission to the communities of West Yorkshire. Its cathedral has been restored and reordered. It is financially stable and well able to resource mission, it is ready to face the challenges and opportunities of the next 125 years.

“Our concern is that these proposals will disrupt rather than enhance this work and we hope and pray that the members of the General Synod will take this concern seriously in reaching their decision.”

This Sunday’s party will start at 3pm with music and entertainment for all ages and a hog roast, followed by a special service.

For more information on the celebrations or change visit