Celebrate Ripon Cathedral's 1350th Anniversary
Ripon Cathedral celebrates the life and legacy of miracle maker, survivor, pioneer and controversial figure, Wilfrid – the cathedral’s founding father – with a year of spectacular arts, music, history, sound and light events to mark its 1350th anniversary
Unique works of art by four leading artists will also transform the cathedral’s Anglo Saxon crypt – the last remains of the church Wilfrid founded on the site and the oldest surviving building in any English cathedral.
Plus, throughout the year, there will be arts, crafts, music, lectures, worship, pilgrimage opportunities and 27 individual flower displays, each depicting aspects of his life, as well as the traditional St Wilfrid’s Day Procession through the city.
Tickets have just gone on sale for the anniversary launch weekend which will take place over the early May Bank Holiday weekend, starting on 28th April with dancing in the nave to a local jazz and swing band, a beer festival, a pilgrimage from Bradford Cathedral, and a Son et Lumiere finale that promises to recreate Wilfrid’s miracles – including that of a lunar rainbow said to have appeared to the monks of Ripon Monastery one year after his death in 709 AD.
Other headline events throughout the year include the premiere of new digital projections from the little-known Ripon Bible. Currently held in the special collection of the Brotherton Library at Leeds University, this illuminated document in its rich blues, golds, and purples is believed to have been created by the scholars of Oxford. Pages from it have been recreated in sound and light and will be projected across the interior of the cathedral, offering visitors the chance to see it for the first time.
There are lectures from historians Tom Holland and Max Adams, and a series of tours taking visitors behind the scenes, an organ festival featuring an animation created for piano and organ to tell Wilfrid’s story, while four artists, including Sara Shamma, will transform Ripon’s ancient Anglo-Saxon crypt with specially commissioned works in paint, words, tapestry, and a new light and soundscape.
To find out more about the programme and how to book tickets, visit