Tag Archives: All Saints Square

Rotherham Minster’s west doors reopened after hiatus

Rotherham Minster, formerly known as All Saints’ Parish Church, was granted Minster status in 2004.

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.

Jamie Oliver cooking centre celebrates third anniversary

The Rotherham branch of Ministry of Food opened in 2008.

A cooking centre, founded by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, is celebrating its third anniversary this week.

Ministry of Food, which was formed as part of a 2008 Channel 4 documentary, helps residents in Rotherham to learn the basics of cooking, via courses that are held throughout the year.

The centre, based at All Saints Square in Rotherham Town Centre, also organises birthday parties for clients and sells fresh produce including sandwiches, omelettes and salads.

Jan Davies, Ministry of Food’s manager, said: “I have been here for most of that time, and I have seen it grow and develop to what we are now.

“The Ministry of Food is now fully established in Rotherham as a fun place to learn how to cook delicious, economic and healthy meals using fresh ingredients from local suppliers.

“We take our sessions out into the community, too, working in schools and community groups with children as young as five [years old].

“As a recently established Social Enterprise, we need to generate income to sustain our project – we have opened a café selling healthy meals to the public.

“Our location in All Saints Square is perfect for the pavement café culture.”

A healthy lifestyle

Ministry of Food was founded by Mr Oliver to help implement a healthy lifestyle in Rotherham, after some town residents controversially opposed his healthy school dinners strategy in 2006.

Rotherham-based mothers passed crisps and takeaway burgers through school railings, which proved to be the inspiration for Mr Oliver’s Ministry of Food campaign.

The centre now provides advice to local residents on issues ranging from ingredients, nutrition and cookery equipment to exercise, stress and smoking.

“Recent statistics for Rotherham show parts of the borough are not the healthiest of places to live [as] life expectancy is well below the national average,” said Ms Davies.

“A lot of the health issues are poor diet related. We really need to show these communities how easy it is to cook healthy and affordable meals for the whole family.

“But we have more to offer. By completing a course of ten sessions with us, it is a delight to see the people grow into confident adults and young people [who are] proud of their newly acquired skills, and their sense of achievement just shines from them.

“Through our work experience and volunteering programme, we are also able to enhance employability skills [and] many of the team go on to find paid employment.”

A birthday celebration

To celebrate Ministry of Food’s third anniversary, a family fun day is being held on Wednesday 17 August. It will take place at All Saints Square, and outside the Ministry of Food centre, from 10.30am to 4pm.

The event will promote the achievements of the centre – as well as celebrating education, cooking, employment, and good health and well-being in Rotherham.

Cookery demonstrations and food tasting sessions will take place in conjunction with Rotherham College of Arts & Technology and local celebrity chefs including Andy Gabbitas.

There will also be prize draws – where attendees can win a cookbook signed by Mr Oliver, and electrical appliances donated by the Currys and PC World branches at Parkgate Shopping Centre – and appearances from local sporting stars.

Activities for children have also been organised including the Swamp Circus Youth Troupe, pancake making, face painting and a magician.

The Mayor of Rotherham, Councillor Shaun Wright, will also cut a birthday cake at 3pm.

“Our customers are all looking forward to joining in the celebrations. There are so many activities [and] all the family will have a great time,” added Ms Davies.

“We have over ten of our key partners showcasing what they do, and how we work together for the better health and well being of the people of Rotherham.

“It is a great way to find out about the range of services we offer – to schools and children’s centres, to community groups, to business – but in a fun and interactive way.

“Children can come and make pancakes – an easy recipe for young ones that hopefully will inspire them to learn other recipes.

“There will be other interactive activities put on by our exhibitors.

“It is a day celebrating what we have achieved so far and hopefully getting the people of Rotherham to support us even more to safeguard our future.”


This news story was published in August 2011.