*** DEBUG END ***

Retired vicar becomes Lord Mayor of York

25 June 2021

CAG Photography

The Revd Christopher Cullwick, Lord Mayor of York, and his wife, Joy, the Lady Mayoress

The Revd Christopher Cullwick, Lord Mayor of York, and his wife, Joy, the Lady Mayoress

THE first priest to be installed as Lord Mayor of York in the 800-year history of the office is the Revd Christopher Cullwick.

But he has had to wait more than a year to take up his post, because his inauguration in 2020 was postponed owing to the lockdown. After he was officially appointed last month, he pledged to arrange a commemoration of the year of the pandemic to bring the whole city together to remember those who had died.

Cllr Cullwick, who is 68, retired in 2013. He has been a Liberal Democrat member of the city’s council since 2015, representing the ward that includes his former parish of All Saints’, Huntington, where he was a Team Vicar. He said last week that “it has been something of a wait, but it is much better to be starting now, as there is much more of a sense of hope. It will be a year like no other.” He said that he wanted to help York “as it grieves for what has been lost”.

He has permission to officiate, and has conducted several funerals during the pandemic. “I have seen first-hand what that meant for families. I want to work out how, as a city, we might grieve and celebrate the lives of those who have been lost — not just through Covid, but all those families who have been bereaved and have found it difficult not to be able to mark that moment in familiar ways.

“I need to have conversations, not only with other faith communities, but also those who do not identify with any particular faith, to ask what might be helpful or appropriate; what the city would value.

“Alongside that, I want to ask how we thank our front-line staff, our key workers; not just the NHS and carers, but the many others which we absolutely depend upon.

“Every Lord Mayor brings their own background to the role. What I bring is a passion about the Church working together with other partners. I have lived in York since 1984, and, throughout that time, I have tried to work with the city. With shared goals, we can do far more than we can on our own.

“Where the Church is faithful to its mission to love our neighbour, we find again and again that, while there will be many who do not necessarily identify with our faith, they are keen to see good things happen.”

He has been involved in charities, youth work, setting up foodbanks, and Street Angels. “My life has really been with my feet in many camps” he said. “This is only continuing the work I was already doing.”

Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

Forthcoming Events

Green Church Awards

Awards Ceremony: 6 September 2024

Read more details about the awards


Festival of Preaching

15-17 September 2024

The festival moves to Cambridge along with a sparkling selection of expert speakers

tickets available


Inspiration: The Influences That Have Shaped My Life

September - November 2024

St Martin in the Fields Autumn Lecture Series 2024

tickets available



Festival of Faith and Literature

28 February - 2 March 2025

The festival programme is soon to be announced sign up to our newsletter to stay informed about all festival news.

Festival website


Visit our Events page for upcoming and past events 

Most Popular

Past Week
Past Month

Welcome to the Church Times


To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)