St Michael le Belfrey, York
The present church building was built between 1525 and 1536 and replaced a church that dated back to at least 1294. The church is famous for being the place where Guy Fawkes was christened on 16 April 1570. Fawkes was christened an Anglican but later converted to Catholicism which led to the failed 1605 Gunpowder Plot. The church was also the scene of the wedding of Christopher Levett of York, the English explorer, to Mercy More, daughter of Rev. Robert More of Guiseley, Yorkshire, in 1608.
In the early 1970s the parish of St Michael le Belfrey joined with that of the nearby St Cuthbert's Church, which had experienced revival in the late 1960s under the leadership of David Watson, and could no longer be accommodated in the building. Growth continued in the 1970s, and the church became known as a centre for charismatic renewal.
The parish and congregation of today
The church continues to reflect the creativity that was encouraged under the David Watson era. There are six services usually held on Sunday and two during the week, some of which are registered as Fresh Expressions of Church. These include an informal café-style service held at Burnholme Community College (G2), an alternative worship service ("Visions Multimedia Worship"), as well as an all-age service. The church maintains links with Riding Lights Theatre Company, York Schools and Youth Trust (YoYo), Alpha UK as well as numerous parachurch organisations involved in mission work both locally and internationally. The church is a member of the One Voice York network of churches.
Approximately 800 people attend the church and the present incumbent is the Reverend Matthew Porter.
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