February 9, 2017
The Prince of Wales inspired clergy, church staff, volunteers and members of the congregation during a wonderful visit to Hull’s historic Holy Trinity Church.
His Royal Highness was greeted by the Vicar of Holy Trinity, the Reverend Canon Dr Neal Barnes, and Lord Lieutenant of the East Riding, Susan Cunliffe-Lister, as he arrived at the church as part of his much-anticipated visit to celebrate Hull’s year as UK City of Culture.
The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, and the Bishop of Hull, the Right Reverend Alison White, were also on hand to welcome The Prince of Wales as he arrived to meet with many of those involved in the daily life and exciting transformation of the 700-year old church.
After meeting leaders of the Holy Trinity Development Project, Prince Charles chatted to representatives of Hull-based contractor Houlton, which is carrying out extensive works within the church, including the relocation of memorial ledger stones from the nave to the south transept to enable the installation of new sandstone flooring and underfloor heating.
The Prince then continued his tour, meeting volunteers; the Holy Trinity catering team; community organisations; children’s and youth groups; and representatives of military veterans organisations with memorials at the church.
The youngest person to greet The Prince of Wales was five-year-old Ezmae Mukungurutse, who proudly presented him with a handmade book of “Prayers for Prince Charles”.
Dr Barnes, said: “It was an absolute pleasure and privilege to welcome The Prince of Wales to Holy Trinity. He was genuinely interested in the amazing history and heritage of the church and the work taking place now to make it a fabulous, flexible space for worship and for the community to use in so many ways.
“The Prince was in great spirits and took so much time to talk with many members of our congregation, our volunteers and representatives of the community that we work with. I spoke to one of our congregation afterwards and she said she would remember this day for the rest of her life.
“The Prince has brought such joy to everybody here and his visit is not just great for Holy Trinity, it’s great for Hull. It tells the rest of the country that exciting things are happening in Hull and the people of Hull are making it happen.”
The royal visit came just three months before Holy Trinity is due to be re-dedicated as Hull Minster by the Archbishop of York on May 13, in recognition of the church’s inspiring regeneration, physically and spiritually.
The status of Minster is an honorific title bestowed on major churches of regional significance in the Church of England, to reflect their importance and contribution to the local communities they serve. It means that the status of Holy Trinity, which is England’s largest parish church, will be elevated 725 years after it was founded in 1292.