Wakefield Cathedral – A Community

Alongside key milestones, the cathedral is a source of community and camaraderie for local inhabitants.

Naturally as a centre for Christian worship, religious services are the nucleus of the community. The collection includes service registers, which show the different services that would take place on a daily basis.

Since the 20th century, the cathedral have begun hosting a wider variety of events alongside their religious services. This includes open days, exhibitions, lectures, festivals and concerts. WYAS hold wonderful examples of the different events that have taken place in these hallowed walls over the years. There are also a selection of parish magazines covering the period 1876-2004, documenting the life of the community.

Music plays an important role in worship, and the Cathedral Choir has been operating for centuries. As the present Dean of Wakefield Simon Cowling has said “The wonderful choir here at Wakefield Cathedral provide a fantastic accompaniment to many a service, inspiring those in attendance and promoting the worship of God to all who hear them.”

Today the cathedral community continues to go from strength to strength. You can find out about their upcoming services and events here.

Register of services 1900-1912 (WDP3/7/1/1)
The Wakefield Cathedral service registers are a fantastic resource for discovering the day to day operations of the cathedral. These register entries cover late April 1905 and include information such as the text and prayers being delivered as well as the number of communicants in attendance.
Wakefield Parish Church magazine with Home Words for Heart and Hearth 1876-1877 (WDP3/42/1)
A letter in the Wakefield Parish Magazine from December 1876 written by Norman D. J. Straton the vicar and rural dean of Wakefield.
Book of photographs of choristers and of the Cathedral 1894 (WDP3/26/3)
This book of photographs was presented to Mrs Henry Brown and Miss Frances Mary Brown for their work in establishing and continuing the choral scholarships by the Wakefield Cathedral Choir Committee.

Inside it says, “We therefore beg you to accept this slight token of the gratitude we feel towards you for your efforts in this cause and hope that the accompanying photographs of past and present Choral Scholar may help to keep alive your interest in the welfare of the Wakefield Cathedral Choir”.

The photographs show the choristers as well as exterior/interior shots of the cathedral.
Rules for members of Wakefield Parish Church Choir Late 19th Century (WDP3/26/11)
If you wanted to join the cathedral choir in the late 19th century, these were the rules you would need to abide by!