Schools across York have received special thank you letters - from Buckingham Palace!

The special thank you is for a unique Coronation gift sent by thousands of York residents - the ‘York Gospels 2023’ .

To mark the Coronation of King Charles III, around 2,000 people of all ages in York each wrote out by hand one or more of the 3,778 verses in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in the Bible.

Children and students from 14 primary schools, three secondary schools and both universities, and others from more than 20 local church and community groups in the city, joined together to write the book.

The handwriting phase started in February and was completed and compiled by early March.

The handwritten verses were then bound into a book, a process which also took place in York. The York Gospels was finished just in time for the coronation. 

York Press: Rachael Maskell MP with the completed versesRachael Maskell MP with the completed verses (Image: York Gospels)


All Saints RC School's subject leader for religious education, Kath Humphrey, said: "We were really happy to be involved in such a unique project.  Students from all year groups and a wide variety of staff contributed, and it was a lovely way to work with other Christian communities in York and be part of something lasting."

Project co-ordinator Keith Hayden added: "An illustration page was included with each of the 89 chapters which led to a wide range of imaginative personal artwork. The first page in each Gospel was written in calligraphy with the skilful help of a talented volunteer from York Scribes.

"The word ‘Gospel’ means ‘good news!’ So many who took part are praying that these handwritten Gospels, now in royal hands, will be a source of inspiration to King Charles. May they also be enjoyed by other members of the Royal Family, especially the younger ones."


A special display of all the illustrations, together with a printed copy of the handwritten Gospels and various photographs, was staged at Spurriergate in York city centre for King Charles' 75th birthday.

The display has been viewed by the Lord Mayor, Cllr Chris Cullwick as well as members of the public. York Central MP Rachael Maskell, who had written two verses from Matthew’s Gospel herself, also visited the finished work.