Cathedrals at the Heart of Christmas

01st December 2021

Our cathedrals are back at the heart of Christmas, welcoming hundreds of people with a wide range of worship and events for this very special season of Advent.

Cathedrals at the Heart of Christmas

Lincoln Cathedral has turned purple for the season, there’s an ice rink in the ruins of old Coventry Cathedral, Ripon Cathedral has brought back its traditional Boxing Day pilgrimage to Fountains Abbey, the Star of Bethlehem was projected onto Wakefield Cathedral, and Worcester Cathedral is preparing for its Christmas Eve crib service complete with live animals.

All our cathedrals have launched their advent programmes with a wide range of services, events and activities. Please check your cathedral’s individual websites for service and event times. Tickets may be required at some highlight services to help our cathedrals manage numbers and keep people safe, many of our services will be livestreamed.

The Star of Bethlehem was projected onto Wakefield Cathedral as it was transformed into the centrepiece of its city’s Christmas Lights Switch On last month.

The projection was just one image, part of the Novak Light Display, that marked the start of the season of Advent across Wakefield. At the Cathedral there is a range of popular services, seasonal concerts, and events, a free children’s Christmas Party, a Messy Cathedral family Christmas crafts and its traditional Christingle and Crib service on Christmas Eve.

Among the highlights at Ripon Cathedral this year are three Festivals of Lessons and Carols, one featuring the Yorkshire shepherdess, Amanda Owen, and a Festal Eucharist on Christmas Day.

There’s a new Christmas Trail, called A Noisy Night in Bethlehem for children and families which runs every day during December plus a special dressing-up event on Christmas Eve, when children can Journey to Bethlehem.

The Dean of Ripon, the Very Rev John Dobson DL said:

“Every year, the Church prepares for Christmas with a season which puts hope firmly at the centre of life as we know it. This theme of hope is strengthened further at Christmas itself when we celebrate that Jesus’ birth at Bethlehem reveals the down-to-earth nature of God’s indestructible love. With this love God both sustains the universe and remains with us in our every-day living.

“This theme of hope is celebrated and shared in the cathedral’s wonderful services during Advent and Christmas. These are our gifts to God and to you. Please, do join us.”

At Worcester, they are inviting visitors to experience their Christmas Tree Festival at night alongside a programme of Christmas concerts, service and readings – including two crib services on Christmas Eve when the story of Christmas will be re-enacted with live animals.

Visitors can book a daytime or evening skate in the ruins of Coventry Cathedral with the opening of Coventry Glides until January, and there’s a whole month of festive events, music and worship including Christmas music by candlelight, a Come and Sing with John Rutter, The Snowman live, showings of The Grinch, a craft workshop to make your own wrapping paper using traditional marbling techniques, and a New Year’s Eve glitter-themed family rave in the Cathedral.

And Lincoln Cathedral has lit up purple for the season with a wide range of services that includes carols by candlelight, and a sell-out live showings of The Snowman.

Cathedrals at the Heart of Christmas - Lincoln

A spokesperson for the cathedral said:

“At the darkest time of year, light in darkness brings hope and comfort and we love being able to light the cathedral to share that hope will all who see it.”

Please remember to check your cathedral’s individual websites for up to date service and event times.