Bradford Cathedral

On 25th November 1919 King George V decreed that the parish church of St Peter Bradford was to become one of England’s parish Cathedrals, as the new Diocese of Bradford was formed out of the ancient see of Ripon. Today we are still in the newest diocese in the Church of England. The three cathedrals at Bradford, Ripon and Wakefield bring their unique ministry to bear in the Diocese of Leeds and, together with Bishop Nick, symbolically represent the unity of this vast diocese.


This year we shall be celebrating the Centenary with a programme emphasising faith, heritage, music, the arts and partnership. We begin our Centenary journey, appropriately, on the Feast of the Epiphany, Sunday 6th January. Our Diocesan Bishop, Bishop Nick, will preach and give an afternoon seminar and we shall launch an unusual exhibition which has the journey motif at the heart of it and continue through to the centenary of the King’s announcement in November. It promises to be a really exciting time.


It is perhaps worth reflecting on the last century. It has been traumatic in Europe and today we live at a time of confusion about our neighbours. Bradford has changed hugely and faces new challenges as well. The Christian church is in a very different place than it was in 1919. Ponder the social, economic and lifestyle changes. It leaves you breathless. 


As Christians we are called to make our witness to God and serve our community, just as previous generations have done. Let us pray that this year will not only be a great celebration for this deeply loved cathedral but also a time for spiritual renewal. Can I encourage you to make the most of this special year’s events and invite others along to join with us?



Centenary Prayer



Prayer for the Cathedral Church of St Peter, Bradford 2019


Eternally present and ever faithful God,
by whose grace a people have gathered here for over a thousand years
to praise your name and learn your ways.
We bless you for this witness  
and now we give you thanks for one hundred years
of worship and ministry as a Cathedral.
Grant to us, whose lives are like the flowers of the field,
the spirit of joyful gratitude for the past, 
generous welcome and witness in the present and
the longing for your creation to be made whole in this City and Diocese.
May your future come through the power of the Spirit of the Risen Christ.


Poet in Residence

During the Cathedral’s centenary year Dane Pacitti is our poet in residence. She will produce a collection of poems based on Bradford and its cathedral. There has been a church on the Bradford hillside since Saxon times and ‘Siting’ is about its location and purpose.


Its task was present
When the site chose itself. Three streams or more
Which flowed together. A place of crossing.
A place to build a bridge,

To cluster homes.
The site was high enough
For a sweeping view of the dale, and yet the sky
Felt like a neighbour.

Then Bradford moved downhill. The streams
Flowed poison, and were culverted underground.
It seemed the church was stranded high and dry
In a new secular age.

Still in a city
Of crossed continents, thrown-together faiths,
Its purpose remains
To hold in prayer;

To work with all that is suppressed and choked
And bring it into light;
To site a crossing;
To sight hope.

Bishop Nick Baines Discussion

Read: Going back a different way: being Christian in a populist world