Holy Trinity Church, Hull’s most amazing place, today (November 7) revealed ambitious plans to transform into a leading heritage, cultural and tourism venue by the 2017 UK City of Culture year.
The Vicar of Holy Trinity, the Rev Canon Dr Neal Barnes, the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, and the Chair of Hull UK City of Culture 2017, Rosie Millard, came together to announce a £4.5m development project for England’s largest parish church.
The transformation will see Holy Trinity’s magnificent interior restored and remodelled to create a new flexible space in a beautiful setting for Christian worship, as well as providing first-class facilities for banquets, concerts and a wide range of artistic and cultural events and performances. The plans, which also include a stylish new café of the highest quality, will, in effect, create an iconic new venue in time for Hull’s year in the national cultural spotlight.
Meanwhile, outside the church, Trinity Square will be transformed with a stunning piazza-style public space as the centrepiece of the Old Town and a beacon for the regeneration of Hull’s heritage quarter. The plans for Trinity Square have been developed jointly by Holy Trinity and Hull City Council and will see the churchyard and square become a seamless space.
Holy Trinity is Hull’s finest Grade 1 listed building and dates back more than 700 years to when Edward I granted a Royal Charter to the former settlement of Wyke to create Kings Town upon Hull (Kingston upon Hull).
Building upon hundreds of years of Christian worship, the church has in recent times established a growing reputation for hosting cultural and community events, ranging from Hull’s premier real ale and cider festival to concerts and plays, and the sensitive redevelopment of Holy Trinity and its surroundings will enable many more such uses.
The transformation will support the objectives of the City Plan, which aims to create 7,500 new jobs over 10 years, including by establishing Hull as a major visitor destination.
The project already has £1.5m in firm pledges from individual benefactors. The remainder of the project costs are expected to be raised from significant donations, trust funds and foundations.
The redevelopment will open up new income streams to provide a financially sustainable future for Holy Trinity as a magnificent place of faith and worship in the heart of Hull, as well as preserving a building of local and national architectural and heritage significance.
Subject to planning permission from Hull City Council and consent from the Diocese of York, physical changes will begin early in 2015 and the project will be completed by late 2016.
Rev Canon Dr Neal Barnes said: “I see this project in the context of the history of Holy Trinity. Seven hundred years ago it was constructed by the people of Hull for the people of Hull, for worship principally, but also for the community generally.
“So this project will breathe new life into this ancient building to advance the worship of God and also open it up to the community in ways that will enable Hull to grow.
“Our plans for Holy Trinity will enhance Hull’s vibrancy and cultural diversity and add a spiritual depth to it. Holy Trinity is a beautiful and inspiring building and these changes will enable us to do amazing things and offer amazing experiences within magnificent surroundings.”
The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, said: “One of the great biblical images of God’s Kingdom of love and justice is a banquet where all are invited to the feast.
“The Church seeks to embody that gracious welcome in all that it does. I am delighted that Holy Trinity is reimagining ways to open up that invitation to the people of Hull, residents and visitors alike, in the 21st Century. Come and join the feast.”