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Commemoration of centenary of the wartime death of youngest submarine commander

Relatives of the youngest submarine commander in the Royal Navy in World War 1 gathered in Ripon Cathedral this week to mark the centenary of his death.

Lt Ingleby Stuart Jefferson’s submarine was torpedoed by a German U-boat when it partially surfaced in the North Sea – with only its conning tower showing. Of the ship’s company of 19 men, only one, a stoker, survived. Lt Jefferson was just 24 when he died.

The young lieutenant was renowned for his sporting abilities and for his bravery – two years before his death he had been awarded a medal by the Royal Humane Society for saving a soldier from drowning in Immingham Docks.

Lt Jefferson’s family were joined on Friday by the family of his great friend Lt Hanley Hutchinson – with whom he had grown up in Ripon. Lt Hutchinson also lost his life in 1917 – the two friends were to die less than six weeks apart.

Lt Hutchinson was fatally wounded as the 2/5th battalion of the West Yorkshire Regiment, (the Prince of Wales’ Own), engaged the enemy on the Western Front. He was 26. He is buried at Grevillers, a large war cemetery near Bapaume in France and is remembered in a memorial next but one to that of Lt Jefferson.

The commemoration took place at the foot of the memorials in the cathedral’s North nave aisle and was led by the Dean of Ripon, the Very Rev John Dobson. He said: “The names of some 250 men and choristers from the Ripon area who died in World War 1 are inscribed in tablets near the high altar. In remembering Lt Jefferson and Lt Hanley, we honour their memory too.”

Lt Jefferson’s nephew, Richard Jefferson, who lives in Norfolk, said: “We all feel very proud of him. He was a huge loss to the family and if he had lived he could have had an outstanding career.”

In a roll of honour Lt Jefferson was described as ‘one of the best all round athletes in the fleet.’ A member of Headingley Rugby Club, he played rugby for the navy against the army in March 1914 and at 21 was the youngest player on either side. He also represented the navy against the army in bayonet fighting and was said to excel at boxing, wrestling and ski-ing.

He was the elder son of Dr William Jefferson of North House, Ripon, who for 50 years was the city’s Chief Medical Officer. His grandfather, was a canon at Ripon Cathedral in the 1800s.

Mr Richard Jefferson, whose son and grandson both were given Ingleby as a forename, was joined on Friday by his brother, Ingleby William Jefferson, his wife and other family members including two great great nephews.

Joining them in prayer were Prue Hutchinson, widow of the Ripon solicitor Michael Hutchinson, the nephew of Lt Hutchinson and his great nephew Andrew Hutchinson.

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Summer of Sound at Ripon Cathedral

Capable of the softest, most exquisite sounds or shaking the glass in the windows, Ripon Cathedral’s organ is to be used to full effect during the Summer Organ Festival.

This year, organists from across the country will be bringing a bit of joie de vivre to Ripon in a French-themed programme of music, celebrating the anniversaries of three composers: Charles-Marie Widor, Louis Vierne and Henri Mulet.

The audience will have the rare opportunity to see the performers up close, as they play the four keyboards, known as manuals, one pedal board and 59 stops – controls which alter the sound to imitate trumpets, clarinets, oboes, flutes, and anything else the performer can ‘cook up’ from the ingredients available.

The earliest pipes in the instrument date from 1695, while the organist controls the instrument from a console using 21st-century technology. The smallest pipes are smaller than a pencil, producing some of the highest sounds audible to the human ear, while the largest are nearly 10 metres in length, sounding so low that they are felt rather than heard!

Although French composers are being celebrated this year, the Summer Organ Festival will feature an international range of music, played by distinguished organists from across the country.

The recitals take place every Tuesday from July 11 to August 22 at 7.30pm. For more information, or to get tickets, please see

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Comms Update

Hello again from comms! This week our content has had a musical theme with articles on this summer’s organ recitals and – at the request of one of the local papers – the planned work to enhance some of our bells – which apparently are not ringing with quite the accuracy that our team of ringers would like!

Joe and Michelle have been helped out by our friend Tony Whiting, a very experienced journalist who has volunteered to help us write some of the many stories our cathedral has to tell. Look out for Tony’s fascinating piece on the youngest submarine commander in WW1, who was just 24 when he was killed as his sub was torpedoed. We’ll be publishing it next week when his family will say commemorative prayers at the memorial in the nave.

Prayers were held on Monday in the Chapel of St Mary Magdalen, one of the smaller foundations under the cathedral’s care. Joe visited during compline, which was led by Canon Paul. Over 20 parishioners were present for compline, filling the pews, with standing room only for Joe! Speaking afterwards, Anne-Marie Tartar declared the day of silent prayer as ‘something totally different’.

“I’ve been on silent retreats but sharing the silence with 20 others, all deep in prayer, was very special. Silent prayer is difficult, the mind wanders and you need to use energy to bring yourself back. It was a beautiful day,” she said.

Efforts are underway at St Mary Magdalen’s to fundraise for urgent restoration works. Joe has been working with Revd. Jackie Fox – they have busily designing the chapel a new website – – you can check it out and let us know your thoughts.

Also this week we continued our research on a piece to support the work that is done in the field of education and Michelle joined primary school children from Sharow who were taken on a tour by Canon Barry. She learned several important lessons including the danger of letting a bunch of six year olds your have your name… “Barry!” “Barry… BARRY!” echoed around the cathedral as our inquisitive visitors conversed with our lovely canon! The children wanted their lunch as soon as they arrived (10.15 am!) but were happily distracted by a trip down into the crypt… We hope they enjoyed their visit!

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Ringing in the Changes at Ripon Cathedral

The bells of Ripon Cathedral have rung out across the city since at least 1354 and today – more than six centuries later, plans are afoot to ensure they are ready for a new generation of ringers.

Charlie Brown, Ripon Cathedral’s Steeple Keeper, takes up the story: “The bells here have an excellent reputation. We receive applications from people all over the country who want to come to Ripon Cathedral specifically to ring a peal here.

“However, our smaller bells are currently a bit unpredictable – it’s difficult to get the accuracy that we want. We are looking to adapt some of the smaller bells to make them easier to handle and a more pleasurable experience to ring.

“This is particularly important as we are currently training six new ringers and we’d love to get them started on these smaller bells. This work will help us all ring better together.”

The sound of bells is synonymous with our English heritage – not only calling us to pray – but ringing in celebration and in mourning and announcing peace – at the end of war.

The Very Rev John Dobson, Dean of Ripon, said: “We are fortunate at Ripon Cathedral in having a great peal of bells and a wonderful team of ringers who are dedicated and determined to sustain the ancient art of change ringing for the benefit of this community and region.

“I am very grateful to those involved in this project as it will help enhance ringing for both new and experienced members of the band.”

The work, which will cost some £5,000, is currently being explored by Ripon Cathedral’s Fabric Advisory Committee.

If you’re interested in learning the ropes new bell ringers are always welcome and details can be found at

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Women in the Pulpit

A quarter of a century ago a momentous vote was taken in favour of women’s ordination to the priesthood. This Sunday Ripon Cathedral is marking the occasion from the pulpit – with a sermon from one of its newest team members – Canon Ailsa Newby.

It’s part of a national initiative which hopes to see women across the UK take to the pulpit in commemoration of events 25 years ago. It will also be the first sermon at the cathedral by Canon Newby – the former lawyer sought ordination following her work with prisoners for the charity Justice.

The tide of change for women in the church began 50 years ago with the appointment of the first female lay readers – then two decades after that came the ordination of women deacons. Ripon Cathedral welcomed its own female deacon this month as Rev Caitlin Carmichael-Davis began her curacy.

Canon Wendy Wilby, who has been serving as an interim Canon Residentiary in Ripon, was amongst the first women priests to be ordained in 1994 – (it had taken two years for the legislation to work its way through parliament and the church!)

Canon Wilby is also the Chair of the National Association of Diocesan Advisers in Women’s Ministry. She said: “Up and down the country we are hoping that as many women as possible will be preaching in our churches on July 16. We have been privileged to witness a seismic ministerial event of enormous proportions in our generation. We must give thanks to God for all that women are formally bringing to the church.

“We at Ripon Cathedral are rejoicing in the gifts and skills that have been offered by women in ministry over many years. This last 50 years has seen a major transformation within the Church of England. It now provides a wholeness of ministry that represents both the women and men of our congregations and communities.”

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Nigel Allcoat, organ

Summer Organ Festival 2017

Join us for this year’s Summer Organ Festival – a series of seven recitals across Tuesday evenings in July and August showcasing performers from Ripon Cathedral and across the country.  This year, we mark a series of French anniversaries: Louis Vierne and Charles-Marie Widor, who both died 80 years ago, and Henri Mulet, in the 50th year since his death.

Nigel Allcoat, organ

Nigel Allcoat, 15th August

Peter King, organ

Peter King, 11th July

Peter King, Organist Emeritus of Bath Abbey, launches the series on 11th July with a programme of French fantaisies, adding a little international variety with one of the great 19th-century Germanic works: Reubke’s Sonata on the 94th Psalm.


The next three recitals are given by the Cathedral’s music department.  On 18th July, Tim Harper explores connections between J. S. Bach and the French school, sandwiched between a brand-new transcription of Willam Walton’s Portsmouth Point and the first major work of Vierne’s favourite pupil: Duruflé’s Prélude, Adagio et Choral Varié sur le thème du Veni Creator.

The  following week, the John Sayer Organ Scholar, Tom Coxhead includes Jehan Alain’s Trois Pièces pour Grand Orgue among pieces from the renaissance and by Howells and Vaughan Williams, before Andrew Bryden sees in the new month by concluding an all-French programme with Duruflé’s Prelude & Fugue sur le nom d’Alain.



David Newsholme, organ

David Pipe, organ

Above: David Pipe, 22nd August Left: David Newsholme, 8th August

David Newsholme (Canterbury Cathedral) plays Bach, Widor, Vierne and Howells as a prelude to Healey Willan’s Introduction, Passacaglia & Fugue, while on 15th August, Nigel Allcoat celebrates the feast of the Assumption as composer, performer and improviser, in a programme spanning Bach, Boulanger, Tournemire and Liszt.

Finally, David Pipe plays Elgar, Wammes, Bach and Bonaventure before exploring Henri Mulet’s Esquisses Byzantines on 22nd August, bringing the series to a close with the famous toccata Tu es Petra.

All recitals take place at 7.30pm in the crossing of the Cathedral, where you can see the performers close up and hear the sheer variety of sounds available from the Ripon instrument to best advantage.  Tickets are available in advance from the Cathedral Shop at £8, on the door at £10 and free for accompanied under 16s.  The ticket price includes a glass of juice or wine after the concert.  Full programmes can be found under each recital’s event listing:

Summer Organ Recitals 2017

11th July             Peter King
18th July            Tim Harper
25th July            Tom Coxhead
1st August          Andrew Bryden
8th August         David Newsholme
15th August       Nigel Allcoat
22nd August      David Pipe

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Gargoyle Competition Winners

Prize Giving for Gargoyle Competition Winners

The talented North Yorkshire school children who came up with the top sketches in the competition to design new gargoyles for Ripon Cathedral received their prizes during Sunday morning’s service.

Ten finalists were chosen from over 1,000 entrants – with the designs of two of the children about to be turned in to stone.

Rachel Ogier, from Moorside Junior School in Ripon and Hayden Horsfall, from Pickering Community Junior School – who are both ten – have already started working with stone carvers Martin Coward and Alan Micklethwaite to create further sketches and a clay model.

Rachael said: “My art teacher said that we could base it on whatever we wanted and I thought I would base it on a human and make it look scary.

“I got my ideas from making clay model gargoyles last year at school and wanted – rather than a monster – to make a creepy human. I think it will be exciting to do this – and interesting.”

Hayden added: “I’m surprised and excited that my design won and I can’t believe that it is really going to be carved!”

The vital work to replace the figures and other historic stonework is being funded by the First World War Centenary Cathedral Repairs Fund.


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