Celebrating Selby 950

A yearlong community celebration is planned for ‘Selby 950’ which will see the town celebrate the 950th anniversary of the founding of Selby Abbey.

The District Council is working with the Abbey, Town Council, Selby College, local businesses and community groups to co-ordinate a range of events and activities to celebrate the milestone.

A significant highlight will be a specially commissioned light festival that will see the Abbey illuminated over three evenings, between 22-24 November. The interactive installation by an acclaimed artist is being sponsored by Drax Power Ltd.

Another highlight will be a carnival style parade on 31 July to mark the Feast Day of the Abbey’s patron saint with music and movement, art and crafts on display to welcome a newly commissioned icon of St Germain.

Selby Library is also organising a series of 950 themed events including historical talks and events for children, including a History Festival in August.

A series of brass band concerts, with children’s entertainment, are being organised by local leisure group, Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles, and will take place throughout the summer in Selby Park.

Cllr Chris Pearson, Lead Councillor for Housing, Health and Culture (pictured above), explained, “The events are an opportunity for the community to come together and celebrate the reason for our town’s existence – the fabulous Abbey.

“We’re working with the Abbey, the Town Council, the Civic Society, arts groups, local businesses, the college and local schools to make  2019 a year that sees the community come together to celebrate this significant  milestone.”

Not only will the historic building be celebrating its 950th anniversary this year, but it is also 50 years since becoming the first parish church to hold the annual service for the distribution of the Royal Maundy back in 1969 when it was visited by Her Majesty the Queen and the year Pink Floyd played, marking 900 years of the Abbey.

The town will see many other cultural events and activities throughout 2019, many of which have a strong heritage theme and will showcase the town’s history to residents and visitors to the area.

There are lots of different ways community groups and organisations can get involved. Find out more (we've developed a toolkit you can download for free to help you get your community event or activity involved in the Selby 950 celebrations) or contact Jennie Lowthian, Tourism Development Officer, on 01757 292336.

Pictured above are Michael Dyson, chair of Selby Civic Society, Selby Town Council's mayor's consort Malik Rofidi, Jane Breach, Community Engagement and Visitor Center Team Leader, from Drax Power Ltd, Selby District Council Chairman Cllr David Buckle, Town Council Mayor Eva Lambert and Rev John Weetman from Selby Abbey.