ARTISTS are putting the finishing touches to new pieces of work for a unique arts programme to tell Ripon Cathedral’s story in its 1,350th anniversary year.

The ambitious anniversary arts programme launches this week to tell afresh the life and legacy of the cathedral's founding father, Wilfrid, through art.

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Among the artists taking part is Chrissie Freeth with her piece Beyond Words, a series of 13 large scale tapestries.

Inside the crypt, visitors will find Jack Chesterman’s paintings of scenes from Wilfrid's life, while sound artist Paul Baily has composed music that bridges time back to the cantors of 672 using lyrics written by poet Olivia Mulligan.

The Northern Echo: Chrissie Freeth beyond words Rome to RiponChrissie Freeth beyond words Rome to Ripon

The crypt will also be lit by ever-changing colours representative of the splendour of Wilfrid’s crypt, which would have been filled with relics from his many journeys to Rome.

Other headline events throughout the anniversary year include the premiere of new digital projections and a flower festival using floral design to recreate Wilfrid’s life and times.

Chris Baily, producer of Art in the Churches said: “This is a ground-breaking and awe-inspiring art spectacular that will bring Wilfrid to life in a way never before witnessed."

Wilfrid - one of the most controversial English saints - was born into a noble Northumbrian family, a patron of the arts, he studied at Lindisfarne before embracing the Roman ways.

He was deposed on more than one occasion, and yet helped unite England behind a single Christian tradition.

Ripon Cathedral’s Anniversary Launch Weekend will take place over the May Bank Holiday weekend, from April 28.

The Northern Echo: Dean John Dobson in THE Anglo Saxon Crypt at Ripon CathedralDean John Dobson in THE Anglo Saxon Crypt at Ripon Cathedral

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