A Christmas Like No Other

Frontline workers take centrestage in Christmas services at St Edmundsbury Cathedral, Peterborough’s carol service is broadcast live by local BBC, York Minster asks people what3words sum up their hopes and dreams for its Christmas star campaign, and cathedrals launch fundraising appeals to help survive this year like no other.

After a year like no other, it’s a Christmas like no other #CathedralChristmas

Peterborough Cathedral’s Carol service will be broadcast live on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire this Sunday and repeated on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

The Sunday show which runs from 6.00am until 10.00am, will close with a 30-40 minute Carol Service live from the Cathedral, during which the Cathedral Choir will sing some favourite Christmas carols, and readings have been pre-recorded by the show’s regular listeners.

Canon Rowan Williams, Precentor at Peterborough Cathedral said:

“It’s lovely to welcome BBC Radio Cambridgeshire to the Cathedral for this special Carol Service. Our Cathedral musicians have been working very hard in this challenging year to make sure that as many people as possible have the opportunity to hear the Christmas story and enjoy traditional Christmas music, so it’s wonderful to be part of a broadcast to so many listeners. We hope everyone is in good voice and ready to join in, wherever they happen to be.”

You can hear the carol service from Peterborough Cathedral again on Christmas Eve from 4.00pm and on Christmas Day from 1.00pm on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.

For more details about taking part in Christmas services at Peterborough Cathedral, both in person (for which seats must be booked) or online, please visit their website here.

Frontline workers from shops, schools, travel, police, council services, food banks and health care will read at the traditional service of Lessons and Carols at St Edmundsbury Cathedral this Christmas in recognition of their extraordinary year of service.

“As we come with thanksgiving to hear Christmas story and to listen to beautiful voices of the choir singing those well-known carols, we come full of gratitude for those who have kept us and our communities going this year,” said the Reverend Canon Philip Banks, who is responsible for worship and organising the carol services at the Cathedral.

All tickets for the Cathedral’s Christmas services have now been allocated but people can join online as all services will be livestreamed on the Cathedral’s Facebook page .

Full details of the Cathedral’s Christmas Services are available on their website.

Lichfield Cathedral has announced another opportunity to join them in singing along to carols around the Christmas Tree this weekend after its previous slots were booked up.

Canon Andrew Stead said:

“We’re excited to be able to put on another time slot for our popular ‘Carols Around the Tree’ service on Saturday. We are sure all attendees will be singing along to our fantastic Cathedral organ with gusto. We look forward to joining with an enthusiastic crowd singing our hearts out to popular carols and ushering in Christmas week.”

Tickets are free and available to book on the Cathedral’s website.

York Minster has re-imagined its popular Christmas tradition of decorating the Minster’s Christmas trees with message tags from local people to express their hopes and dreams, by launching the what3words Christmas Appeal.

Inspired by the locator app, what3words, the Minster is inviting people to try to sum up their Christmas prayers, feelings or greetings in three words and then submit their message. Their three words will be attached to a gold star and tied onto one of the Christmas trees in the Minster’s Nave.

Neil Sanderson, Director of the York Minster Fund said:

“Just as the star safely guided the three kings to the place where Jesus was born, today, the what3words app guides modern rescuers to those who are lost.

“So we would like people to try express their message in three words: they could be names, prayers, a location – anything that gives expression to what they are feeling this Christmas. We would love people to tell their friends and family so that they can also have a star in the Minster this Christmas.

For more information about What3Words, York Minster’s Christmas Appeal for 2020 and how to submit a message to be tied onto the Minster’s Christmas trees go to their website.

York is just one of many of our Church of England cathedrals which has launched a Christmas fundraising appeal this year. It estimates the Covid-19 restrictions could cost the Minster £100,000 this Advent and Christmas, and public support is more important than ever.

Chichester wants to raise £36,000 over the 12 Days of Christmas and is asking people to consider making a Christmas gift to the cathedral.

Peterborough Cathedral has launched its Christmas Keys appeal to raise much needed funds. Keys are the symbol of St Peter, the patron saint of the city and its cathedral.

And Worcester Cathedral has just launched a Christmas fundraising campaign appealing to local residents and members of the community to make a contribution to the building’s future. It estimates it costs £7,000 a day just to conserve and maintain the 900 year old landmark.

The Very Revd Peter Atkinson, Dean of Worcester, said:

“I am proud that the Cathedral, its staff and our loyal volunteers have weathered an extremely hard year, and pay tribute to our visitors, donors and supporters who have helped us do this. However, the year to come, when so much emergency help will not be available, is likely to be harder still. Please accept, in advance, our sincere and grateful thanks for any contribution you are able to make at this time.”

“Any funds raised will go towards the maintenance of this historic building for generations to come – so that it can continue to serve the people of Worcester, as it has done for centuries.”

Visit https://www.worcestercathedral.co.uk/christmas/donate.

Cathedrals are re-imagining their Advent and Christmas programmes to make sure they adhere to the latest Government and Public Health guidelines and bring something of the magic and mystery of the season to visitors and worshippers alike this Christmas. Please remember to check ahead as places are limited.

Go to each individual Cathedral website to find out more.