Chris Cullwick opened the event before we ate a hearty full English breakfast together.
York is a huge tourism destination with around 4.2 million visitors per year choosing to explore our historic city. Gillian gave us a context for the subject by telling us that 1 in 10 of York’s jobs are in tourism.
Gillian told us about the current work that is going into a possible bid for ‘World Heritage Site” status. As well as having great tourism benefits she believes that there would be other great spin–offs. In the last year York has won European Tourism City of the Year and UK’s Best City by the Daily Telegraph.
With the range or York festivals, improvements to the riverside and the imminent building of a 5-star hotel, York is looking even more attractive to visitors from all over the world.
York Minster remains the greatest visitor attraction to the city. With the recent launch of a brochure in hotels about historic church buildings and the Christian Heritage Walk, the church has even more opportunities to engage with visitors.
It is easy to understate the impact the church has in attracting visitors to York. We have great opportunities – not just by giving a welcome and hospitality to visitors, but also by supplying conference facilities.
78% of visitors to York come back – which has got to say something remarkable about our city. With increasing engagement between the church and civic authorities and institutions, the great sense that God is moving in the churches can be carried through to all levels of society.
2000 years of history is also linked to 2000 years of the church – the two are hard to separate.
We closed by praying for Gillian, her work and her department – because we want to see our city blessed.