Lent at Bradford Cathedral

Ashing in Bradford Cathedral

The season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday – 14th February 2024. Bradford Cathedral will be marking this with a service of Choral Eucharist with the Imposition of Ashes at 7pm, a service which is in addition to the two regular said services on the Wednesday morning at 8:15am and 10:15am. All are welcome at these services.

Alongside these extra services, the Cathedral’s regular pattern of worship continues. On Sundays these are the 8am Holy Communion from the Book of Common Prayer; the 10:30am Choral Eucharist; and the 3:30pm Choral Evensong.

Other opportunities to gather for prayer include Morning and Evening Prayer online at 9am and 5:30pm; Midday Prayer at 12noon; Choral Evensong on Mondays and Tuesdays at 5:30pm; and services of Holy Communion on Wednesdays at 8:15am and 10:15am.

As well as these services, there will also be a Passion Play, morning retreat, and services to mark the World Day of Prayer.

“We would be delighted to invite you to any of the events or services that are taking place over this season.

You will be sure of a generous and warm welcome.”

The Very Revd Andy Bowerman, Dean of Bradford

Compline during Lent

Compline will be sung by the choristers during Lent on Thursdays at 6:15pm in the Cathedral. All are welcome.

Cathedral Nave
The Narrow Road

Riding Lights Theatre Company presents
‘The Narrow Road’ by Paul Birch

Wednesday 28th February | 7:30pm

Powerful Theatre on the journey to Easter.

Riding Lights Theatre Company are pleased to announce a revival of their acclaimed passion play The Narrow Road by Paul Birch, for the season of Lent and Holy Week 2024.

For many years, Riding Lights Theatre Company has toured its passion plays to churches, cathedrals and communities across the UK, providing a unique, revitalising experience of the drama of Christ’s passion.

…vivid and contemporary, with moments of high drama… [Church Times]

A man stands alone on a dusty road, an extraordinary journey before him; one that will re-trace the footsteps of Jesus into a world of miracles and madness, violence and liberation.  As The Narrow Road is walked, this turbulent world is turned upside down; its inhabitants confronted by an unexpected and surprising vision.

Meeting the characters and re-living the events of the gospels, this draws us back along that original road, through the place of the cross and into the challenge of a life beyond. Compellingly performed, The Narrow Road asks each of us to step out in faith on that journey today.

World Day of Prayer Service

Friday 1st March | 2pm

All are invited to gather for a service of music, readings and prayers on the theme of ‘I beg you, bear with one another in love’, prepared by the World Day of Prayer Organisation, a women-led, global and ecumenical movement, in conjunction with Christians in Palestine.

Prayer Vigil for International Peace

Friday 1st March 2024 | 6pm

At a time of international tensions and conflict in different parts of the world, you are invited to gather in Bradford Cathedral on the World Day of Prayer, to pray for international peace. The service will be led by the Dean of Bradford, the Very Revd Andy Bowerman, and will involve contributions from different communities from across Bradford.

The Ukranian Community also invite you to join them for a Prayer Vigil for Peace in Ukraine to be held on the second anniversary of the invasion of their country by Russia. This will take place on Saturday 24th February, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. Pakington Street. Bradford BD5 7LB. The service will begin at 10:30am and is expected to last for approximately one hour.

Visual Commentary on Scripture

Lent Stations: Vices & Virtue

VCS Lent 2024

The Christian practice of listing vices and virtues has a long history, going back at least to the times of the very early desert monks in the fourth and fifth centuries. As they cultivated their little patches of land in order to sustain themselves, they also cultivated their bodies and souls to make them as fruitful as they could. Later, medieval Christian manuscripts featured the motif of the ‘virtue garden’, in which the virtues (usually seven) are shown as trees, being watered by prayer. 

The Visual Commentary on Scripture’s Lent offering this year is based as usual around 14 ‘Stations’, beginning on Ash Wednesday and continuing on Mondays and Fridays until Holy Week. All the commentaries in the series have an audio feature so that you can listen to them while viewing the works of art. Our 2024 Stations will share with you a series of seven works exploring, first, the seven vices most commonly included in lists of the ‘deadly sins’, and then, second, the seven cardinal and theological virtues. 

Visit Us:

Opening times

Monday-Saturday 10am – 4pm

please see our what’s on calendar for any changes

What to See?

Bradford Cathedral has been a site of Christian worship since the 7th century. Explore over 1000 years of history in the heart of Bradford. We also have a wealth of Morris & Co. stained glass, 18th Century monuments and a range of contemporary and historic textiles.

Lenten Services

Worship is the heartbeat of Cathedral life and is offered daily through online Morning and Evening Prayer and the seven services each week. The main weekly service is on Sunday at 10:30 am which is also live-streamed. You can download an Order of service in advance or use the Proclaim app instead of an Order of Service.

What is Ash Wednesday?

The name ‘Ash Wednesday’ comes from the use of ashes on this day, which are an ancient sign of penitence. From the Middle Ages it became the custom to begin Lent by being marked in ash with the sign of the cross.

Lent is the 40-day period that begins on Ash Wednesday. The length of Lent reflects Jesus’ 40 days in the desert, and is a time of study and devotion for Christians. Many Christians today will take on extra works of charity, helping and supporting others as part of their Lenten “fast”.

Lent also emerged in Christian history as a time of study and devotion. Historically, many new Christians also prepared throughout Lent for their baptism, and entry into the life of God’s Church, at Easter.

The Revd Pete Gunstone, Acting Precentor:
“Ash Wednesday begins the season of Lent, with an opportunity to embrace both our finitude and the mercy and power of God. We hope you can join us for our reflective worship at the start of Lent.”

Watch and Pray

Watch and Pray 2024

This Lent we are encouraged to wait expectantly for God to meet us and sustain us through the storms and trials we all face.

The Church of England’s Lent theme for 2024 is Watch and Pray: Wisdom and hope for Lent and life.

On the night he was betrayed, Jesus kneels in darkness in the Garden of Gethsemane. Though he pleads with his disciples, “Stay here with me … Watch and pray,” they all fall asleep, leaving him alone in his hour of deepest suffering.

This Lent all of us are encouraged to draw on the wisdom of Black Spirituality, particularly the practice of “tarrying” (waiting) as a community to draw closer to Jesus and to each other. Combining exuberant singing, fervent prayer and quiet lament, such services typically take place at night and last somewhat longer than the “one hour” Jesus asked of those first followers.

School Resources

Bradford Cathedral has also made available online resources for the season of Lent, for teachers, parents and carers.


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