Candlemas: Light to the World

29th January 2021

In Gloucester they are using this festival to issue a heartfelt THANK YOU to the hundreds of donors who helped raise £1m for their Beacon of Hope appeal.

Cathedrals are marking Candlemas this week and celebrating Jesus as Light to the World.

Launched in June last year in response to the impact of the pandemic, the ‘Beacon of Hope’ Appeal aimed to raise £1 million by 25 December to ensure the Cathedral could remain open and fully operational during the pandemic and help its communities in recovery.

The Very Reverend Stephen Lake, Dean of Gloucester said:

“In a time short of good news, it is amazing that so many have shown their support for the Cathedral as we seek to continue to serve and to be, literally, a Beacon of Hope.

“The £1million needed was to plug the gap in our working finances caused by the pandemic, so that the Cathedral could remain open and available to all at this time of most pressing need. Thanks to the extraordinary response from across Gloucestershire and beyond, we were able to reach that target.

“The funds raised have enabled the Cathedral to continue serving the city, county and diocese through activities such as daily worship (in person or online), supporting the most vulnerable through our Breakfast Club and hosting inspiring cultural events like Luke Jerram’s ‘Gaia’ and our ‘From Your Cathedral to You’ Christmas campaign.”

This Sunday for Candlemas, Manchester Cathedral will welcome the Bishop of Manchester, the Rt Revd David Walker, who will preach and help them say thank you and farewell to their head verger, Derrick May after 38 years service. All services are live on Facebook due to the pandemic.

And for Chichester, Candlemas this Sunday will be the last service they hold under the Chichester Nativity, their latest art installation created in lockdown to immortalise local heroes of the Covid-19 pandemic.

It features real people drawn from local organisations, charities and medical services across East and West Sussex, with angels acting as guardians of health and wellbeing; shepherds as providers of food and resources; the Magi as people who have learned from experience and are now leaders of their community.

Each participant was photographed individually, before being edited into the composite image created by Visual Arts Advisor and Curator Jacquiline Creswell, and Artist and Photographer Ash Mills.

The photographic artwork was printed onto sheer voile banners and hung above the Cathedral’s historic Arundel Screen, leading into the Nave and Baptistry.

Chichester Cathedral remains open for services, prayer and reflection but has reduced capacity at its services to just 40 people on top of its existing Covid precautions.

This year’s Candlemas service at Winchester Cathedral will be streamed online on Tuesday 2nd February. It will be celebrated with a midday Festal Eucharist and Evensong at 5.30pm, followed by a procession of light to the Nave, which will be accompanied by choral music. Winchester Cathedral is closed for public worship at this time.

Ripon Cathedral have made this short video for their candlemas celebrations.


Always check whether your local cathedral is open and what services they are offering, online or in attendance. More here.