Poet Laureate will mark end of historic diocese

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A POEM from the Poet Laureate, a time capsule buried deep in its cathedral and processions of clergy and civic leaders will mark events signalling the end of the Diocese of Wakefield.

Clergy and civic leaders will march together through the streets of Wakefield on Sunday to the Diocesan Farewell Service in the cathedral where every one of its 181 parishes will bring a memento to be buried in a time capsule beneath the building.

Clergy will process to County Hall to meet civic leaders and then together march back through the town to the cathedral for the afternoon service which will be led by the 12th and last Bishop of Wakefield, the Rt Rev Stephen Platten.

The bishop has specially commissioned and blessed a handmade chalice inscribed with the Wakefield Cross for every church to take away as a farewell gift to commemorate the end of the diocese and to be used at the altar to look forward to the new.

He said: “I wanted a gift that would serve both as a sign of thanksgiving for our life together as a diocese, and as a link with the transition to our new diocese.”

On Easter Sunday, the poet laureate, Carol Ann Duffy will be the guest of honour to read a poem she has written specially for Wakefield Cathedral. That day, the diocese will become part of the new Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales joining neighbouring Bradford and Ripon and Leeds.