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Bradford, UK City of Culture 2025, enters fast stream, says Bishop

10 June 2022

Bradford Cathedral

A sign inside Bradford Cathedral expresses support for the city’s bid to be the UK’s City of Culture for 2025

A sign inside Bradford Cathedral expresses support for the city’s bid to be the UK’s City of Culture for 2025

THE trajectory of Bradford has “shifted” after it was named last week as the UK’s City of Culture for 2025, the Bishop of Bradford, Dr Toby Howarth, has said.

The Culture Secretary, Nadine Dorries, announced on Tuesday of last week that Bradford’s bid to be the City of Culture had won, beating the other shortlisted cities of Durham, Southampton, and Wrexham. The is currently held by Coventry.

In an article on the Church Times website this week, Dr Howarth writes: “I cannot remember being hugged by so many, as, together, the realisation dawned that our trajectory as a city and district had just shifted. It was as if we had been paddling our canoe along a river and were now caught up in a fast, new current.”

Dr Howarth writes that one of the reasons that Bradford has been named City of Culture is its youthful population. “The city is full of young people without power or voice, whose stories are seldom told. City of Culture is less about getting them to visit an art gallery and more about bringing accessible circuses of music and food to the middle of the neighbourhoods in which they live, celebrating and reflecting the stories that they want to tell.”

He notes that the Church of England has “invested millions of pounds into the city”, referring to the planting of a Resource Church, Fountains Church Bradford, in a former nightclub (News, 19 July 2019, 29 April). “Like much-needed dental work contributing to a smile, Fountains Church Bradford gleams in the city centre alongside the National Media Museum, the Alhambra Theatre, and the old Odeon soon to be resurrected as ‘Bradford Live’.”

Dr Howarth writes that the bid would not have been won without the Bradford Literature Festival, which was chaired until recently by the Bishop of Leeds, the Rt Revd Nick Baines.

Bishop Baines said after the announcement last week: “Bradford is a young city in our young diocese and its energy and cultural wealth deserves this recognition.”

Read Dr Howarth’s article here

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