The west doors of Rotherham Minster, a church in Rotherham Town Centre, have recently been reopened.
The Minster’s west doors had been closed to the public for over 20 years.
But, following the fitting of handrails to the steps outside the west doors, the decision has been taken to reopen the doors.
Canon David Bliss, the vicar of Rotherham Minster, said: “If you sit in the new Minster Gardens with the West Doors open, you can see into the Minster, along the nave and then the East Window.”
Used for weddings
The Minster has been part of Rotherham Town Centre for over 500 years and newly married couples left the Minster, following their Marriage Service, by the west doors, prior to its closure.
On Saturday 23 July, Simon Ward married Amanda Taylor to become the first couple to use the west doors for over two decades.
The west doors, however, will also be open to the public on some days and used for special occasions.
“I expect the doors to be used for three things,” explained Canon Bliss.
“They will be open [on] some days during the summer months, so that people can enter or leave the Minster by them.
“They will be used again at weddings and couples will be offered the opportunity to leave the Minster by the West doors.
“They will also be used for some special services where people will enter by these doors [and] above the doors, on the inside of the Minster, are speakers from the organ, which allow the organist to play a fanfare upon entry.”
Improving the Minster
Reopening the doors is part of a series of improvements to Rotherham Minister, and it also hosted a Dedication of Churchyard Improvements and opening of the new Minster Gardens on Friday 26 July.
These improvements have included building new steps and seats, as well as a paved forecourt.
“It will link the Minster with the beautiful Minster Gardens, reinforcing the fact that the Minster is there for all people,” added Canon Bliss.
“It is very exciting that these doors are being reopened. They have not been used for in excess of 20 years.
“Many couples who were married at the Minster will have walked out of the West Doors, after their marriage service, and so reopening them will hold special memories for these couples.
“People have been delighted. Many of the comments I have received have been from people who have told me that they walked through the doors after their wedding and, therefore, it has been a special moment to do so again.”
This news story was self-published in August 2011.