Archbishop of York rededicates Beauchief Abbey, Sheffield

PUBLISHED: 00:16 08 December 2011 | UPDATED: 20:24 20 February 2013

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu at Beauchief Abbey

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu at Beauchief Abbey

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, visited the small, picturesque chapel of Beauchief Abbey, Sheffield to lead a service of rededication following a programme of restoration and renewal at one of Sheffield's most treasured medieval sites

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, visited the small, picturesque chapel of Beauchief Abbey,Sheffield to lead a service of rededication following a programme of restoration and renewal at one of Sheffields most treasured medieval sites, accompanied by the Bishop of Sheffield, Steven Croft.

The Abbey was given to the City of Sheffield in 1932 and over the past year Sheffield City Council and the congregation of the Abbey have undertaken a programme of building workandcareful restoration, including installing new lighting and heating.

During the restoration the congregation worshipped in a nearby barn and the Archbishops visit to lead the Re-dedication Service celebrates the successful completion of the renewal works and sends out the message that Beauchief Abbey is open and has resumed its life of weekly services and welcoming visitors.

The Archbishop met builders and conservation workers who carried out the works on the 800 year old building. The restoration discovered traces of medieval painting and uncovered a stone doorway leading to the tower. The Archbishop will also met members of the congregation ageing from 3 to 93 years old.

Beauchief Abbey has a rich and unusual history. Started by monks in 1183 the monastery was dissolved by Henry VIII and then the small chapel and tower were restored in the 1660s and this work, including all the 17thcentury box pews, remains to give the Abbey its unique character. Since 1601 the Abbey has been aLiberty, and this means that today the church is run entirely by its congregation, who rely on a rota of volunteer priests to lead the weekly services.

At the service, the Archbishop gave thanks for the continuing Christian life of the Abbey, its education projects, and its work in welcoming visitors to see the rich heritage of the building, community and surrounding area.

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