In a monumental gesture of historic solidarity, York Minster has embarked on a journey across the Atlantic, sending a symbolic ledger stone to New York City. Crafted by the skilled hands of York Minster masons, the ledger stone serves as a tribute to the enduring ties between the cities of York and New York.
The ceremonial send-off took place at the York Minster Refectory, where distinguished guests including senior representatives from York Minster, the Lord Mayor of York, and the West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce gathered to commemorate the occasion. The stone, meticulously designed by Richard Bossons, the mastermind behind York Minster’s statue of Queen Elizabeth II, encapsulates centuries of shared history and cultural exchange between the two cities.
“York and New York have a deeply rooted history, and continue to remain connected in many ways, from education, business, and culture. We’re extremely excited that we’ve reached the next step in the programme of celebration marking the centenary of this historic moment as we look to further develop connections between the two cities.” – The Very Revd Dominic Barrington, Dean of York.
The connection between York and New York dates back to 1664, when New York was christened. In 1924, New York presented York with a bronze plaque, a symbol of mutual respect and admiration. Now, on the centenary of this historic gift, York Minster’s ledger stone serves as a poignant reminder of the enduring bond between the two cities.
“I am delighted and excited to be working with my wonderful colleagues at York Minster to send the Centenary Ledger Stone on its way to New York. The visit to unveil the stone in May presents a fantastic opportunity for York Minster, The Chamber of Commerce and our partners to represent York, Yorkshire and Britain and will be a fitting tribute to mark this historic landmark occasion.” – Sarah Czarnecki, President of York and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce.
HRH Duke of Gloucester, Patron of the St George’s Society New York, unveiled the stone on July 11th, marking a significant milestone in the relationship between the Company of the Merchant Adventurers of the City of York and the St George’s Society of New York.
The ledger stone will find its final resting place at the Church of St Thomas in New York, where it will be unveiled during a special evensong and civic reception on May 5th, 2024. This ceremony not only celebrates the historic connection between the two cities but also underscores the shared values of heritage preservation and cultural exchange.
Reflecting on the significance of the occasion, the Very Revd Dominic Barrington, Dean of York, expressed his excitement about further strengthening the ties between York and New York. He highlighted the ongoing construction of the Centre of Excellence, a pioneering project that will elevate York Minster as a global hub for heritage craft skills and estate management.
Accompanying the unveiling of the stone, the West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce will embark on a trade mission to New York, showcasing the diverse opportunities for tourism, business, and education that North Yorkshire has to offer.
“This visit to New York creates an opportunity to open up new trade relationships between York and North Yorkshire businesses and new audiences in North America. As a collective group of North Yorkshire representatives across many sectors it will enable us to shine a light on the region for people to think about visiting, studying and travelling to North Yorkshire whether for business or pleasure.” – James Mason, Chief Executive of West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce.
Mark Aiston, 2nd Vice President of St. George’s Society of New York, hailed the project as a momentous occasion for both cities, inviting visitors from York to witness the unveiling in Manhattan.
The journey of the ledger stone from York to New York symbolizes more than just a physical transfer; it embodies a timeless connection between two cities united by history, culture, and mutual respect.
For more information about the Centre of Excellence, please visit York Minster’s Centre of Excellence page.