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Pop-up cathedral goes on the road

17 October 2014

diocese of west yorkshire & the dales

Refreshments: Heidi Smith serves drinks outside Wakefield Cathedral

Refreshments: Heidi Smith serves drinks outside Wakefield Cathedral

THE Church's newest diocese, West Yorkshire & the Dales, is taking faith on the road this month in the form of a "pop-up cathedral" that is touring West Yorkshire.

The trailer is intended to provide detached youth and outreach work for churches across the new diocese, and during its first outing it is collecting donations for foodbanks.

It was the idea of Wakefield Cathedral's mission and outreach team of the Revd Tony Macpherson, Canon Missioner; and Heidi Smith, Community Missioner, and was funded by local grants and the Archbishop of York's Youth Trust.

Canon Macpherson said: "We want everyone to see [the] pop-up cathedral's potential. It can do farmers' markets, pop festivals, flower festivals, agricultural shows, coffee mornings, pop-up prayers, lecture days . . . you name it."

The trailer contains a sink, a serving area, and a generator, and has space for other equipment - on this tour, that includes a pop-up labyrinth, a gazebo, and a prayer-box to post prayers.

It has already been in use over the summer in Wakefield. "This is about engaging with the community where they are," Ms Smith said. "It is difficult, sometimes, for people to come into the cathedral, but by taking the cathedral to them, it crosses those barriers and helps them understand that we are here for them, we are here to serve."

It set out on its diocese-wide tour earlier this month, and its 17-day journey takes in Bradford, Halifax, Huddersfield, Ripon, and York, before ending in Leeds on 21 October at St Chad's, Headingley.

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