Hull’s historic Trinity House charity is supporting Hull Minster’s exciting future, building on links going back almost 700 years.
The seafaring charity has sponsored more than two dozen chairs to support Hull Minster’s development project which is transforming the church into an open and flexible space for worship and a wide range of cultural, social and community events.
The donation by Hull Trinity House brings the total number of chairs sponsored by supporters of the church to 116, raising £38,400 towards a target of generating £100,000 from dedication of new seating in acts of tribute, celebration or remembrance. The fund-raising drive is making an important contribution to the overall £4.5m target to deliver the transformation project.
Officially founded in 1369, Hull Trinity House is a charity supporting seafarers and their families in times of need. The organisation has had a strong affiliation with Hull Minster – formerly Holy Trinity Church – since the 14th century when townspeople banded together to offer each other assistance in times of hardship, leading to the later formation of the historic guild.
The ancient guild maintains the traditions of the charity and is the custodian of historic artefacts collected by the Brethren of Trinity House over the centuries. Historically, the guild established an altar and chapel in the church and has continued to have an important presence within the majestic building.
The Vicar of Hull Minster, the Reverend Canon Dr Neal Barnes, said: “The generosity of the wonderful people at Trinity House is humbling.
“Our association with the charity goes back to the 14th century when parishioners helped each other in times of hardship. Ever since then, Trinity House has been an important part of our history and it’s great that the links remain so strong.
“It’s very fitting that Trinity House is now playing an important part in supporting our future.”
Captain Dennis Robinson, Master Warden at Trinity House, said: “The Guild of Masters, Pilots and Seamen of The Trinity House in Kingston upon Hull are proud to continue our support for Hull Minster, as we have done for almost 700 years.
“At one time we established a Chantry Chapel in the church and for many years we have had our own pews. Now, as the refurbishment goes ahead, we have decided to provide 28 new chairs, continuing that association.”
The purpose-designed wooden chairs have so far enabled Hull Minster’s Broadley Chapel and Chancel to be re-furnished with elegant and comfortable seating. The chairs are also used in Café Trinity, which is a popular refreshment stop for the hundreds of visitors to the Minster every week.
Further chairs will be used in other areas of the church to seat hundreds of people comfortably for services and a wide range of events and performances.
Among the many organisations supporting the campaign are local charitable group the Rotary Club of Hull. Founded in 1920, the club organises and supports local community projects to benefit the lives of others.
Robin Mason, President of the Rotary Club of Hull, said: “We’re delighted to sponsor two chairs as part of the chair dedication campaign. As the senior Rotary Club in the city, we feel this is a great opportunity to support the Hull Minster development project and all the good things the church is doing for the community.
“When the remodelling is completed it will be a great inclusive space for events and functions and our Rotary club will certainly be interested in utilising this wonderful venue.”
Dr Barnes urged more supporters, especially businesses and local community groups, to take the opportunity to make their mark within the magnificent 700-year-old church and contribute to a remarkable transformation which is putting Hull Minster at the heart of Hull’s exciting regeneration.
He added: “Our chair dedication campaign is a wonderful way for individuals, organisations and businesses to donate a chair in an act of remembrance, celebration or as a special gift to a loved one.
“The chairs make a huge, practical difference to us, as each one is in constant use either for worship or for events which benefit the local community.
A second special service of dedication is to be held at the newly-dedicated Hull Minster at 3pm on Sunday, September 24, to thank supporters who have donated funds for new chairs.
A donation of £150 will dedicate a chair with a special plaque fixed to the back, carrying the name of the donor and/or their dedication, to be used for worship or events for the benefit of the local community.