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From | Wednesday 9 January 2019

225,000 people visit church in 2018 following £4.5 million redevelopment work.

The Museum of The Moon installation was the biggest draw to Hull Minster in 2018, attracting 82,000 people. Picture: Tom Arran/Freedom Festival

Hull Minster is celebrating record-breaking visitor numbers following its £4.5 million transformation into a leading events venue.

During 2018, 225,000 people visited the Minster following work to enable the building to become a major social, cultural and community hub. It also allowed the hosting of flexible and inclusive forms of worship.

Highlights from last year include two extraordinary installations, The Museum of the Moon and Ship of the Gods, when the Minster recorded attendances of 82,000 and 25,000 people respectively.

The Museum of the Moon, a touring artwork by UK artist Luke Jerram, saw an impressively lit replica of the satellite across a seven-metre diameter, with detailed NASA imagery of the lunar surface, brought to Hull Minster through a partnership with Hull’s Freedom Festival and the British Science Association.

Heinrich and Palmer’s Ship of the Gods combined film, 3D laser scanning technology, sound and lighting effects. The installation was staged in partnership with Absolutely Cultured as part of the Urban Legends: Northern Lights event at key locations in Hull city centre.

A further 20,000 people visited the Minster from October 30 to November 25 as the church hosted Coming Home, a powerful remembrance installation by artist Martin Waters made up of thousands of poppies marking the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

Growing visitor numbers build on exciting changes at the 700-year-old church in 2018.

The visitor numbers are more than three times the 70,000 during Hull’s year as UK City of Culture 2017 when the church hosted several cultural and artistic events. They also mark a dramatic increase over the past few years. In 2010, just 14,000 visitors were recorded before the redevelopment.

The figures don’t include congregations for regular services, which have also grown in recent years, or bumper attendances for the first Christmas services in the remodelled Nave.

The Vicar of Hull Minster, the Reverend Canon Dr Neal Barnes, said: “We’re absolutely delighted with the visitor numbers. It’s an amazing advance on where we used to be and a great tribute to the work of all the clergy, staff and our volunteer welcomers.

“The figures reflect the significantly increased visits from both local people and tourists and the terrific range of events we are now staging. It all means more footfall to support the renaissance of the Old Town and boost trade for businesses in the area.

“This church has always been a vital part of Hull’s spiritual and community life, but now it’s firmly on the map as a visitor destination and a stunning venue for events of all kinds.

The Museum of The Moon was a major hit with young and old alike. Picture: Tom Arran/Freedom Festival

The ever-growing visitor numbers build on exciting changes at the 700-year-old church over the past year, including the opening up of the Nave and a new shop, cafe and visitor facilities.

Hull Minster’s schedule of events for 2019 includes a gig by the Steve Harley Acoustic Trio on April 5, with former Zombies singer Colin Bluntstone performing the following evening. A Prosecco Festival on February 16 and the hugely popular annual Hull Real Ale & Cider Festival on April 11 to 13 will also feature.

James Symonds, Hull Minster Events Coordinator, said: “2018 has been a milestone year for the Minster. The visitor numbers are a major breakthrough for our ambition to become established as a premier events space within the city and region.

To enquire about a booking at Hull Minster, email James Symonds at or call the Parish Centre on 01482 224460.