Ripon Cathedral is celebrating 1350 years since its consecration by St Wilfrid in 672AD. 

Remarkably, the Anglo-Saxon Crypt remains from Wilfrid’s original basilica church. This sacred space is the oldest building of any English cathedral and it is still in use today. Wilfrid’s passion was to strengthen and grow the Christian church in the Pagan Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, and he became one of the most influential and pioneering leaders. Wilfrid’s life was turbulent. His bravery, loyalty and straight-talking brought him into conflict, exile and even imprisonment. However, he was a great missionary bishop and an effective leader of the church with uncompromising self-belief.

He died in 710 and was buried at his beloved Ripon, at the side of the altar in his church. A year after his death, a moonbow appeared above Ripon, just as the monks finished evening prayer; a sign, they believed, that through Wilfrid God was blessing this special place. In 672, St Wilfrid built the first basilica church here to serve the community and region.

Some 1350 years later, Ripon Cathedral continues as a living community of faith, serving the city of Ripon, the Diocese of Leeds, with its 2.6 million inhabitants, and the region.



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