The Minster has moved up a gear in the last few weeks: Summer Dinner, Patronal festival, Heath Founders Day Service, Deanery Synod Eucharist, and this week the Summer Festival begins on Thursday. This morning I did an interview with BBC Radio Leeds promoting 10 days of arts and culture. Christianity has always used the arts - both visual and performing – as windows onto God. Like iconography, they give a glimpse of what God is like and of God’s glory. The Trinity Academy Art exhibition which runs through the summer, will be replaced with an exhibition by the Halifax Art Club, and then a project coming out of Square Chapel. Our newly re ordered space is already being put to good use, and enabling different sections of the whole community to come and claim the Minster for themselves.

Music is fundamental to making worship sour, and in the Festival there everything including the Minster Choir Concert, Black Dyke Band, the male and women’s barbershop evening, and the Senior Citizens Orchestra, and the folk music of the Suitcase Dwellers – hopefully something for everyone!

Two new additions to the Festival this year: is the Sans Illuminere – an evening candlelight tour of the Minster, where visitors get to meet some Living History characters from the Minster’s past; and the School’s Poetry Festival sponsored by the Bearder Trust and organised by the Minster Education Department.

In recent weeks I’ve been busy consulting on the proposed road changes and the station gateway project. It’s an exciting time for the whole town as capital money is made available to support the economic growth of the community, securing jobs and the future. Look out for the Public Consultation in the Town Hall in the new few weeks.

Next month the Minster Choir will head off to Germany and our twin town of Aachen, the Eifel Region, and Dusseldorf. The invitation was to join in the commemoration events of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. The choir will sing at concerts and services across the region. Holly Lynch the MP for Halifax will join the group and will share in discussions with me and the German authorities about plans for 2018 and the end of WW1. If we are to achieve anything like 2014 we need to get planning now!

Last Saturday I had the privilege of attending the Ordination of Simon Scott as a Priest in the Church of God. Simon is a great addition to the ministerial team, and as well as being a Head Teacher, has much to offer the Minster and the whole church. A few weeks ago I was able to announce the appointment of Linda Maslen to come and live in the Vicarage at Siddal, where she will complete her training working across the Minster (her day in residence will be Monday) and at St Mark’s Siddal, and leading The Saturday Gathering – the new congregation that has emerged out of the Food Bank Project. The intention is that when Linda finishes her training she will stay in post as an Assistant Priest in the new benefice!

Here’s wishing the whole community a wonderful summer and hopefully some rest!