Cathedral planters are blooming marvellous

The floral planters were filled and planted up at the start of the summer.
The floral planters were filled and planted up at the start of the summer.

The latest stage in the development of the west end of Ripon Cathedral is set to be celebrated when its new floral planters are dedicated.

The colourful planters will be officially dedicated in a ceremony on Tuesday, September 4, at 11am when the Dean of Ripon the Very Rev Keith Jukes and the Commanding Officer of the 21 Engineer Regiment, Lt Col Jack Nicholson, will cut a ribbon.

The planters are the latest in a series of moves designed to improve the cathedral’s iconic west end which overlooks the historic Ripon street of Kirkgate.

Earlier this year, the glass Narthex entrance was unveiled in time for Easter which has not only improved access but made the entrance more inviting with the cathedral’s vaulted interior, pillars and organ clearly visible from outside.

The planters around the forecourt are part of the Ripon in Bloom initiative and were a joint venture between Frank Boddy (Timber) Ltd, who supplied the oak, the Walled Garden Scheme, who supplied plants, shrubs and compost, the 21 Engineer Regiment and 15 Field Squadron (Search) Royal Engineers who designed and built the planters, and the Dean and Chapter of the cathedral.

The cathedral forecourt will now be free of vehicles so the magnificence of the building’s west end, instantly recognisable as an iconic symbol of Ripon, can be enjoyed by everyone who visits the building both by day and night.

The cathedral authorities say limited parking will still be available to allow access for the elderly and disabled at events and services.

l The new glass porches feature engravings by artist Sally Scott which depict scenes from the life of St Wilfrid, the founder of Ripon Cathedral.

The entrance allows the cathedral authorities to keep the doors permanently open during the daytime for the first time in almost 150 years.

The doors were first used for the Palm Sunday procession on April 1.