Cathedrals at Night – Advent Hope

We promised you 2020 was Year of Cathedrals Year of Pilgrimage…And we’ve done our best!

Cathedrals At Night … celebrating the hope of Advent in this pandemic year

Lichfield and Salisbury cathedrals are opening their doors after hours to offer visitors unique Cathedrals At Night events to help people celebrate the hope of Advent in the midst of a pandemic.

Tonight (Thursday) – Salisbury Cathedral is opening its doors after dark and inviting people – and their canine friends (!) into the cathedral to experience it after dark. Atmospheric organ music will set the scene, there’s a special floral trail just for Christmas and a photographic nativity tableau in the spire crossing. The shop and refectory will both be open too for visitors.

Cathedrals At Night was a national initiative launched by the Association of English Cathedrals for 2020 to celebrate Year of Cathedrals, Year of Pilgrimage during which every one of the 42 Church of England cathedrals, the cathedrals in Wales, and the Cathedral on the Isle of Man would open for one night only to welcome in visitors for free to offer them a taste of cathedral life with music, prayer, reflection, and art and light shows in some places.

The pandemic meant most of these planned events could not take place; but since we have come out of lockdown many cathedrals have reinstated them including Worcester, Lichfield and St Albans, whose Cathedrals at Night event was so successful they immediately planned a second.

Lichfield Cathedral has just announced three more Cathedral At Night events for Advent exploring three different themes; Light in the darkness, Meditation at the Manger, and Out of Bethlehem, an opportunity to think about those living in the Holy Land in these unprecedented times.

Lichfield Cathedral will open from 19:00-21:00 with a short Compline at 20:45. The three nights will take place Sunday 13th, Monday 14th and Tuesday 15th December and while they will not be ticketed, volunteers will be on hand to ensure social distancing.

The Dean of Lichfield, the Very Revd Adrian Dorber said:

“Our hope is that people feel able to come and go as they wish, engaging with the space and the themes for each evening. The Cathedral will be kept quiet with gentle music played in the background and each evening offers a different focus for our prayers and reflections.”

Details of these events and other services planned during the Advent & Christmas period can be found here.