A lesson in law – judges and solicitors gather at Bradford Cathedral

A Fanfare specially composed for the occasion by Bradford Cathedral Assistant Director of Music, Jonathan Eyre, and played by the Band of the West Yorkshire Constabulary, greeted the congregation arriving at Bradford Cathedral last week for the annual ‘Legal Service’.

The service each February celebrates and prays for  those working for the administration of justice in West Yorkshire and brought together a large congregation of judges, barristers and civic leaders. Among those present were the Lord-Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, Dr Ingrid Roscoe, the Lord Mayor of Bradford, Cllr Joanne Dodds, the High Sheriff of West Yorkshire, Mr Ed Anderson, together with High Court, district and circuit judges, solicitors and clergy.

Addressing the congregation was the Chancellor of the Diocese of West Yorkshire & the Dales, Professor Mark Hill QC, who spoke on the power of the law, particularly Ecclesiastical, or Church, Law to  facilitate and order the church’s “life, mission and witness.”

In his sermon, Professor Hill  said “Law, properly understood, is creative and facilitative. It is the servant of the Church, not its master.

“The worshipping community in this cathedral, and those in every parish throughout the effervescent new diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales, have a legal duty to promote the mission and witness of the Church of England. Defined by law, empowered by law, equipped, facilitated and inspired by law, we have both the structure and the confidence robustly to proclaim the Gospel, and by deed and example, truly to love our neighbour.”

You can listen again to the sermon online here.

The Legal Service was led by the Dean of Bradford, the Very Revd Jerry Lepine. Judges and those in the legal profession took part in the service – the prayers were led by His Honour Stephen Gullick, the Old testament reading was given by Mrs Vicky Reynolds JP, Chair of the Bradford & Keighley Bench, and the New testament reading was given by His Honour Judge Roger Thomas QC, the Honorary Recorder of Bradford.