City will look to the future in service to mark 130 years

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Wakefield will mark 130 years of city status with a celebration at the cathedral this weekend.

The borough received the honour in 1888 and stands alongside 68 other cities in the UK that share the status.

Kirkgate pedestianised area and multi storey car park. (now all covered in, bottom end of Ridings)

Kirkgate pedestianised area and multi storey car park. (now all covered in, bottom end of Ridings)

Sunday’s event will focus on “hope” and look at the kind of city that Wakefield might become.

Wakefield Cathedral’s Canon Precentor, the Revd Leah Vasey Saunders, said: “We live in challenging times, politically, socially and economically, and Wakefield is feeling that keenly.

“That’s why this 130th service on Sunday is important – we have hope, we have aspiration – we have all of this gift, all of this blessing, and if we keep hold  of all this in this Easter season of hopefulness – we in Wakefield could be so much more than they could have imagined in 1888 when Queen Victoria fixed her seal.”
The service will be attended by a host of civic dignitaries including the High Sheriff of West Yorkshire, members of Wakefield Council and the Wakefield BID.

Elizabeth Murphy manager of Wakefield BID said: “It’s fair to say that without Wakefield Cathedral we wouldn’t have city status, so we’re delighted to see them marking this with their own event. 

Nigel Hofmann and his daughter Emily made a WFD Pie, pictured in Wakefield Cathedral with the Dean of Wakefield Simon Cowling and Elizabeth Murphy (BID Manager)

Nigel Hofmann and his daughter Emily made a WFD Pie, pictured in Wakefield Cathedral with the Dean of Wakefield Simon Cowling and Elizabeth Murphy (BID Manager)

“Wakefield was given city status 130 years ago, but people often forget we are indeed a city. 

“That’s why we launched our WFD130 campaign to remind people of this and encourage others to celebrate which is what the cathedral is doing.

“If people haven’t visited this iconic location before, or for some time, it’s a great reason to do so. Everyone at Wakefield Cathedral is so passionate about our city which is a joy to see.”

The service will be held Sunday, May 5 at 3pm. Everyone is welcome.

Wakefield Cathedral.

Wakefield Cathedral.

Dubbed the “Merrie City” in the Middle Ages, Wakefield was an important wool centre and market town, while textiles, corn and coal were vital industries in the 18th century.

It was a Royalist stronghold during the Civil War and the site of the Battle of Wakefield during the Wars of the Roses.

Visit our website for more on the city’s anniversary.