Advent and Christmas in our Cathedrals

10th December 2022

Live nativities, a Nativity safari, a pet carol service, carols on the hour, services for those seeking sanctuary, and a ding dong merrily on high – just some of the events, worship, and family activities you will be able to discover in your cathedral this Advent as we celebrate the hope of the Christmas Story.

Advent and Christmas in our Cathedrals

There is a rich programme of events, music and worship in all our cathedrals this Advent and Christmas. Please check out their individual websites to find out more. 

Wells Cathedral is inviting people of all faiths and none to make their own star for a #FollowTheStar walking safari visiting different churches and encountering those who journeyed to Bethlehem 2,000 years ago to see the birth of Jesus. For all Advent and Christmas at Wells, find out more here.

Truro Cathedral has created a #FollowTheStar trail inviting people to follow the stars displayed around the cathedral and find out more about the key characters and events from the Christmas story.

All are welcome to explore this self-guided trail and interactive stations throughout the Christmas period.

Truro Cathedral will also host its popular Pet Carol Service on December 29 when all pets are welcome, and people can celebrate the Christmas message with their furry, feathered, and scaly friends. Check out all Truro’s Advent and Christmas programme here.

In Hereford Cathedral Christmas Capers is an entertaining and informative glimpse into Christmas at the cathedral. It will take members of the public on a tour with a difference. Guided by the ring of a bell, visitors will move around the cathedral in groups to different locations relating to a festive fact. Christmas Capers is on Monday 19 December at 7pm in the Cathedral Nave. Tickets cost £12, including refreshments and is just one event in a rich programme of seasonal treats.

Elizabeth Semper O’Keefe, Cathedral Archivist, says, “We are really looking forward to delving into the archives and uncovering some of our most seasonal stories during Christmas Capers. The cathedral is full of festive tales and artefacts, including a document with one of the earliest recorded uses of the phrase ‘Merry Christmas’. We can’t wait to share them with you.”

Jess Stallwood, Events Officer, says,

“The cathedral is a magical place to visit, even more so at Christmas time, and this promises to be a very special evening full of festive joy and discovery. Don a festive jumper, wrap up warm and join us on a tour with a difference.”

Hereford’s Christmas programme can be found here.

Gloucester Cathedral’s choirs and local music groups will fill the cathedral with Christmas music throughout the day for its family-friendly Carols on the Hour event on Saturday 17 December.

With performances on the hour, every hour from 11am until 4pm, visitors can enjoy performances of Christmas music. Offering what Gloucester Cathedral describes as a ‘bite-sized burst of festive praise’, each service lasts for 30 minutes and is suitable for the whole family, with everyone welcome.

Do check out Gloucester Cathedral’s programme in full here.

St Albans too is getting ready to welcome in its community on Saturday 17 with Carols on the Hour and a Live Nativity trail that will take people through the town following a trail meeting different people along the way who have made the journey before and end at the Cathedral for a live nativity and the opportunity to join in carol singing.

This year Chester Cathedral is celebrating the tenth anniversary of its annual Christmas tree festival with over 80 trees on display in the nave.

The Dean of Chester, the Very Revd Tim Stratford said:

“Today, Chester Cathedral is full of Christmas trees.  There are eighty-one of them.  Each is decorated by a local group with objects and symbols that are full of hope.  …… the Christmas Tree Festival at Chester Cathedral tries to go beyond a generic message.  It is situated in a building that has been a place of Christian prayer and worship for a thousand years or more.  The space will be filled with prayer and music and scripture in the coming days that reflect the particular hope to be found in the love of God and of his Son, Jesus Christ.

“It would be a joy if you too were able to join us celebrating the hope and light that is God’s gift to us.

This Sunday Chester cathedral will host an hour long service in support of the Ukrainians, Afghans and others finding refuge in Chester.
Christmas Songs for Sanctuary Seekers this Sunday (December 10)
in person and live-streamed on the cathedral’s YouTube channel.

Find all Chester’s events and service times this Advent and Christmas on their website.

To find out what’s on at your cathedral – read this.

All our cathedrals are at the heart of Christmas in their communities. Do check out what’s on at your local cathedral and be part of the Christmas story.