The Archbishop of York at Virtual VE Day Commemorations

May 1, 2020
Posted in News
May 1, 2020 Michelle

The Archbishop of York will speak at a virtual service from Ripon Cathedral at 11am on Friday May 8 to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of VE Day.

It’s hoped that people from communities across the region will join the Dean of Ripon and regional leaders for this service to remember those who lost their lives opposing tyranny and evil and give thanks to God for the peace that Europe has enjoyed since the end of WW11.

The Archbishop of York, the Most Rev Rt Hon Dr John Sentamu, will give a brief reflection and a blessing. He 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.

Originally the cathedral was to have hosted a service for the county on that day. The Dean of Ripon, the Very Rev John Dobson, who will lead the virtual service said: “I’m delighted that the Ripon Cathedral VE Day 75thAnniversary 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.

The service can be accessed via the home page of the cathedral website at

Streaming will start at 10.45am to incorporate a 2 minute silence at 11am to remember and thank those who fought for our freedom.

Visit the Church of England’s website where, amongst other things, you can view the Order of Service for the VE Day 1945 service which took place at Westminster Abbey.



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