The Priory 900 programme has been developing over the last year. The beginning and end of the Festival will be marked by major services of celebration, with the Area Bishop and the Archbishop.
Visiting the Priory April-October
Throughout the Festival season we want the Priory to be a stimulating and even challenging place to visit; one that informs and challenges assumptions about such buildings and the part they have played and continue to play in the lives of the local community.
- An exhibition on the life of St John of Bridlington (SJB) and its impact
- A linked book on the life of St John, and a new tapestry
- A fortnightly series of practical workshops on crafts related to historic churches and monasteries, e.g stone masonry, wood carving, stained glass, calligraphy, embroidery, with a view to exhibiting some of the work produced
- A trail or ‘reflective journey’ around the inside of the building for visitors to take part in
- Activities for children, school visits and workshops
- A temporary labyrinth, for reflective walking in the churchyard.
- Priory Visions and Priory Visions Today: a partnership production with a team from Christ Church (who produced the Passion Play in 2009) and Brid Arts Fest.
- Sailing to the Marvellous: a dramatic cantata, commissioned music, libretto and artwork, and involving 90 children from local schools. Focusing on spiritual journeys of all kinds.
- Priory 900 Songs of Praise: an evening of favourite hymns, songs and readings. We have made an application to Songs of Praise and wait to hear if this is successful.
- Our Priory Story: an in-house production with the choir and tableaux.
- Visits from the Jenny Bray Ensemble, the Benyounes Quartet, the York Waits, the Weighton Waytes, St Nicholas Church Choir, the Binchois Consort and more.
A conference, Celebrating the Heritage, is planned (September) which will have high quality specialist speakers, on historical themes relating to the Priory and its monastic life. We aim to attract visitors and locals, and it will be aimed primarily at a non-specialist audience, with opportunities to participate. We hope to include a performance of the anonymous fifteenth century choral work, the St John of Bridlington Mass.
Worship and Spirituality
There will be a major service to launch the Priory 900 festival in late March, in the presence of the Archbishop. In addition to the regular Sunday worship, enriched by the fine Priory choir, there will be other special services during the summer, culminating in the closing service in October (another Episcopal celebration). Additionally, a special day workshop, Food for the Journey, will offer ‘tasters’ of a diverse range of Christian spiritual practice.
There are two main events under this heading:
- The Summer Fayre and the Old Town Summer Festival this year will be planned to complement and be a part of the Priory 900 festival, with a medieval fayre and other relevant events.
- The festival will include the Town Criers Competition and Parade of Criers. Prize winning Town Criers from all over the country will join David Hinde, the current Town Crier for Bridlington, in a blaze of colour, heritage and pageantry for this important Town Criers competition.
- Given the importance of Bridlington Priory as a pilgrimage destination, it is appropriate to include a Pilgrimage in the programme. This will be in late August (around the Bank Holiday and also coinciding with an important date, St Augustine’s Day, on Aug 28th). The pilgrimage will have two ‘branches’ - a small group coming from Beverley and another, larger group from York - converging on Woldgate for the final stage to the Priory.