Archbishop of York joins our list of VE Day virtual services

The Archbishop of York will speak at a virtual service from Ripon Cathedral to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day on Friday morning.

The Most Rev Rt Hon Dr John Sentamu, will give a brief reflection and a blessing and said: “As we commemorate the 75th Anniversary of VE Day I hope that we can use this opportunity to remember all those who have made sacrifices during past and current conflicts across the globe. 

“I am pleased to be able to share a few thoughts with people online as part of the service with Ripon Cathedral. We can still join together in worship and remembrance, united in our desire to see wars end and peace restored to our world.”

The Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire, Mrs Jo Ropner – representing Her Majesty the Queen and Cllr Jim Clark, Chair of North Yorkshire County Council, will both give a short reading; Dishforth Military Wives Choir will sing Abide with Me and there will music from the Black Dyke Band. The Dean of York, the Rt Rev Jonathan Frost and army chaplain Rev Richard Hall will be leading the prayers.

The online event starts at 11am and originally the cathedral was to have hosted a service for the county of North Yorkshire on that day.

Our Wakefield and Bradford cathedrals will be holding VE Day events on Friday, May 8, each with a virtual address by the Bishop of Leeds, the Rt Revd Nick Baines at 1pm and 3pm respectively.

Dean of Ripon, the Very Rev John Dobson, who will lead its virtual service said: “I’m delighted that the Ripon Cathedral VE Day 75th Anniversary Service is still taking place, though in a very different way form that originally planned.

“At a time when the world is contending with a common enemy - that of COVID-19 – we commemorate and give thanks for those who in the Second Wold War and in other conflicts before and since, have given of themselves for the sake of humanity.

“The spirit in which the VE Day 75th anniversary celebrations are being held in this time of lockdown also says something of our determination now of gaining the victory over those forces that would diminish or spoil life, inspired as we are by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

“I am pleased to have the Lord Lieutenant, the Archbishop of York, the Chair of North Yorkshire County Council and the Dean of York contributing to this special service for the whole of North Yorkshire.”

As the service draws to a close Ripon Cathedral’s Assistant Organist Tom Coxhead will play Spitfire Prelude – by William Walton, arranged and extracted in 1942 from music he’d written for the motion picture The First of the Few earlier that year. 

All three virtual services from our diocesan cathedrals can be viewed via their websites.

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