The 31st of July saw huge effigies of swans, abbeys, and monks marched down the main street of Selby as part of a parade celebrating both St Germain's Day and 950 years of Selby Abbey.

This is the latest in a host of festivities that have taken place at the Abbey in it's anniversary year, with bell ringing, special services that remembered those who have been baptised and received Maundy Money at the Abbey, and a wide variety of concerts to honour the founding of Selby Abbey in 1069.

The parade told the story of the Abbey and the town of Selby, from the arrival of Monk Benedict from Auxerre in France, where he left after being told to establish a monastery in England by a vision of Saint Germain (the patron saint of Selby Abbey), to the official stone building in the 12th century, to now. It also told the tale of the three swans that are now Selby's town emblem - the sign that Monk Benedict had found the place where he would build his monastery.

The culmination of the parade occurred at the Abbey, where a beautiful new icon of Saint Germain, painted by celebrated icon artist Aidan Hart, was gifted to Reverend Jake Belder, Canon John Weetman, and the Bishop of Selby, the Right Reverend John Thomson.

To learn more about Selby Abbey and its 950th anniversary celebrations, visit