Bradford Area background
Bradford, Keighley, Bingley, Otley and Ilkley
Civic boundaries and population
Bradford Metropolitan District has a population 550,000 which is the fastest growing population in the region. The city of Bradford is the youngest city in England with 20% of the population under 14. The Episcopal Area includes most of Bradford Metropolitan District and some parishes from North Yorkshire. Since the heyday of the textile industry in the 19th century Bradford has welcomed settlers from Germany, Pakistan and more recently Eastern Europe.
Haworth and the Brontë family, Ilkley Moor and the Cow and Calf rocks, Bradford's National Media Museum; Keighley and Worth Valley Railway (and the film ‘The Railway Children’); the Black Dyke Brass Band based in Queensbury; the imaginative ‘mirror pool’ at the heart of the city of Bradford; the birthplace and headquarters of Morrisons and Mumtaz and the Aagrah restaurant chain; the Titus Salt model village of Saltaire, now a World Heritage Site; the David Hockney exhibition in Salts Mill; lowly Bradford City getting to Wembley twice in 2013!
Benefices, parishes and clergy
67 Parishes and 3 Fresh Expression congregations
After the devastating decline of the textile industry, Bradford is being reborn as the ‘entrepreneur’ capital of the north – 2000 small business start ups in 2012; since 2008 economic growth has outstripped other districts in the region.
Bradford churches are famously generous and this has supported ministry in some of the tough places in the region – we are able to be present when others left. Bradford Churches have pioneered interfaith work with Muslim communities in Bradford and Keighley through Bradford Churches for Dialogue and Diversity (BCDD) working alongside the national Presence and Engagement initiative as we seek to honour Jesus Christ in our multi-faith context. Church Urban Fund is working in partnership with local churches in the new Wellsprings joint venture initiative to address poverty in a holistic way.
Why are we looking forward to our new Episcopal Area?
"The new Episcopal area provides a great opportunity for partnership with the local authority. Bradford includes areas of high deprivation and churches and the Council can develop further the present collaboration – a recent example is the response to the impending consequences of the new Welfare Benefit Reform. There will be new opportunities to focus on ministry in a 21st century multi-faith city, where we face what many others in Britain will face in the future. We seek new ways of the church relating to the wider community which will lead to steady church growth in numbers and in morale and to us being a blessing to Bradford Metropolitan District."
Ven David Lee, Archdeacon of Bradford