The Catholic Church across Yorkshire's historic West Riding since 1878

The Catholic Church across Yorkshire's historic West Riding since 1878

Raising the Roof in Ripon

Singers are being sought to ‘raise the roof’ in Ripon, for a special ‘Come and Sing Handel’s Messiah’ at St Wilfrid’s Catholic Church.

This event, on Saturday July 6, is open to everyone: particularly to all singers familiar with Handel’s masterpiece and who would like to join the chorus for an afternoon rehearsal before the evening concert at 7.30pm.

The performance, conducted by John Dunford of the Ripon Choral Society and accompanied by the Northern Philharmonic Orchestra, will raise funds for much needed restoration of this beautiful Grade II listed building designed by the renowned Catholic architect, Joseph Hansom.

The late Parish Priest, Mgr Philip Holroyd who died last October, was a popular Christian figure in the city, chairing the Churches Together movement, and the evening promises to be a celebration of Fr Philip’s life in the community.  Organiser Laurence Hughes said, ‘Fr Philip gave a great deal to St Wilfrid’s and to Ripon and was passionate about restoring this beautiful building to its former glory. We hope that this event will play a small part towards achieving that vision.’

It is fitting that an uplifting evening of music should be held at St Wilfrid’s Church to commemorate a former Parish Priest; the fundraising will also be an excellent contribution to assist the new Parish Priest, Canon Ian Smith, himself a fine musician, who will be arriving in Ripon later this summer.

Tickets for this event cost £10 and can be purchased at the Little Ripon Bookshop (plus a limited number on the door).

Anyone interested in singing should e-mail Laurence at: 

A poster with full details of this event may be viewed and dowloaded here:

For more information about the Parish of St Wilfrid, Ripon and the latest news on all the fundraising efforts, visit their Facebook page: 

Mgr Philip Holroyd, RIP