Your Visit to Leeds Minster
The entrance to the Minster is, unusually, from the north, the city side. The north entrance is immediately under the tower which houses the bells. Memorials here illustrate the church’s mission as the civic church, serving Leeds and those who themselves serve the city. Richard Oastler (brass plate, left) worked tirelessly to improve the working conditions of young children; on the right is the memorial to those who gave their lives in the Crimean War.
On the right is the City of Leeds Room housing our Refectory as well as a book stand with cards, books, and gifts for sale. On your left is the Lady Chapel where candles can be lit and prayer requests made. This chapel, dedicated to Mary mother of Jesus, often referred to as Our Lady, holds many memorials to those killed during wars including some from the Napoleonic War, and celebrates the safe return of others and the dedication of those in the armed services.
Entering the main church through the wood and glass doors, the first thing you see is the organ, a reminder of the central position music holds in the worship here. The dark carving of the organ case is echoed around the galleries which dominate three sides of the building.
As you move into the central crossing and look left and right, the full glory of the Minster is revealed. To your left is the sanctuary area where the High Altar, designed to be visible and accessible by all, remains the focal point of worship. The clergy and choir stalls are a link between the sanctuary and the congregation in the main body of the Minster (to your right). Within the beautifully decorated sanctuary area are memorials from previous churches on this site, including the famous Leeds Cross. The magnificent mosaics behind the altar show the 12 Apostles, Christ’s companions who shared his work on earth.
As you move down the nave to the other end of the Minster, notice the massive pulpit enabling the preacher to be seen (and see) everyone; the pew cushions were sponsored by firms, organisations and individuals representing the life of the city; and the colourful windows tell many stories – one shows St Peter, the patron saint of the church which therefore takes his name. Under the west gallery is the font where children and adults enter into their Christian life. Temporary displays can sometimes be seen at the west end of the church.
A more detailed history of the church can be found in the History page; the Heritage page gives more detailed descriptions of items in italics, and other objects of interest. Guide books and information panels are available within the church. Guided Tours are available, We hope you enjoy your visit.