SKIPTON’S community came together yesterday (Sunday) to reflect on the coronavirus pandemic, to thank those who carried out essential work and also to look ahead to the future.

Several representatives of the community including the mayor Councillor Karen McIntrye; Janet Gregory of Skipton Step into Action, and Michaela Rayner of Skipton Foodbank, read out passages at the well attended service at Holy Trinity Church.

Led by the Rector of Skipton Rev Canon Dr James Theodosius, the service, which also went out live on the church website, was supported by the Rev Andrew Webb of St Andrew’s, Skipton, and Mgr Andrew Summersgill of St Stephen’s RC Church.

Others who did readings were GP Dr Liz Leigh, Wes Bond of Beanloved coffee shop, and Skipton Girls student Isabella Theodosius.

They included the words of Her Majesty the Queen, read out by Cllr McIntrye, spoken by the Queen in Easter, 2020, when she thanked everyone on the NHS front line, as well as care workers and those carrying out essential roles for selflessly continuing their duties for the good of the nation.

There were also the words of the Archbishop Desmond Tutu calling for the world to come together as one family, read out by Wes Bond, of Beanloved.

Student Isabella Theodosius read ‘the character of hope’, while Lesley Tate, of the Craven Herald, read anonymous lines written in the church’s book of remembrance in the first coronavirus lockdown.

Following the service, Rev Theodosius said it was wonderful to see so many people coming together and how the service had shown what a strong community there was in Skipton. He also thanked all of those who had come along to do readings or to take part in the service on such a wet Sunday afternoon.

The aim of the service was to mark the end of the last 18 months of the pandemic. It included the presence in the church for eight days, up until Thursday, November 4, of four special prayer stations inside Holy Trinity Church.

Dr Theodosius said the idea of the prayer stations was for anyone in the community to go along, and to both remember and honour those lost to the pandemic, and also to thank families and key workers, such as nurses, doctors and all those in the emergency services.

He said: “It has been an incredibly difficult past 18 months and many of us have encountered significant loss and sorrow as well as witnessing amazing love, care and human compassion.

“It is so important that we mark this time as a community, as individuals, families and institutions, and honour all that we have been through and are still navigating as well as looking to the future with hope.’