Minster service starts Diamond celebrations

CELEBRATIONS for the Diamond Jubilee year in West Yorkshire will get underway on Sunday with an historic service at Halifax Minster.

The official service will be hosted by the Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, Dr Ingrid Roscoe, and led by Rev Canon Hilary Barber. The Bishop of Wakefield, the Rt Rev Stephen Platten, will give the address and the event will conclude with fireworks.

The Diamond Jubilee will mark 60 years since the Queen came to the throne and will be celebrated by an extended bank holiday weekend on June 2, 3, 4 and 5.

Communities are being encouraged to mark this momentous occasion with festive events and Dr Roscoe is keen to encourage celebrations in West Yorkshire.

“I am delighted to host the special service at Halifax Minster to officially launch the start of Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee year.

“Over the past 12 months, the West Yorkshire Lieutenancy has been actively engaged in encouraging people from across the region to get involved in helping the nation to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee. The response has been overwhelming and there are many exciting plans afoot for special events in Her Majesty’s honour.”

The service at the Minster in Halifax will be attended by dignataries and invited guests from across West Yorkshire and there will be readings from the Lord Lieutenant, BBC Look North presenter Harry Gration and Barrie Rutter, founder and artistic director of Northern Broadsides theatre company.

Prayers will be led by representatives of faith communities across the region and the Trumpeters of the Royal Marines will perform, along with the choirs of Halifax Minster, Leeds Parish Church and Bradford Cathedral.

There will be music from the University of Huddersfield Brass Band and organist Christopher Brown of Halifax Minster. Dr Simon Lindley of Leeds Parish Church will conduct the service.

Dr Roscoe said: “The Diamond Jubilee is a great anniversary not only for Her Majesty but for our country too - it is truly a once-in-a-lifetime event. Only one other British monarch has ever celebrated a Diamond Jubilee and that was Queen Victoria in 1897.”

l COMMUNITY groups are being encouraged to apply for money to help celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. The Community Foundation for Calderdale has already agreed to make small grants to Sunnybank Tenants’ and Residents’ Association, Brighouse, and Dodnaze Community Association, Hebden Bridge, to hold Jubilee parties.

Applications should be submitted online from the website www.cffc.co.uk For larger one-off grants the deadline is March 1.