Cathedrals prepare for Easter

12th March 2024

From Palm Sunday processions, the solemnity of Maundy Thursday, the contemplation of Good Friday, and the hope of Easter Day, our cathedrals are preparing for the profound significance of Easter and Holy Week.

There will be space for quiet contemplation and connection as cathedrals embark on a journey of reflection and renewal through a series of special services and events during thismost important festival of the Christian year.

Do check for information and times of services at your cathedral. Some services will be available online too. 

Donkeys will lead the way at many of our cathedrals on Palm Sunday including Peterborough Cathedral who were inundated with offers of donkeys after fears regular donkey duo, Elise and Mandy could not join them this year. Thankfully Elise and Mandy (pictured here in 2022) were able to resume their duties.

Cathedrals prepare for Easter

Families are also invited to join in the Big Cathedral Easter Egg hunt at Peterborough Cathedral on Easter Monday.

A living Easter garden will be created at Salisbury Cathedral by award-winning horticultural designer Andy Mcindoe , winner of 25 consecutive Gold Medals at RHS Chelsea Flower Show and the prestigious Veitch Memorial Medal (one of the Royal Horticultural Society’s highest accolades) in 2017.

Andy is using Mediterranean plants to draw visitors back to the landscape and story of Jesus.

Three crosses and a sealed tomb will remind people of his sacrificial death and burial on Good Friday, before the stone is rolled aside and the tomb opened on Easter Day. And for the first time, the Easter vigil will conclude at the new Easter Garden when a fire will be lit and the Easter Candle brought back into the darkened cathedral and raised as a sign of Jesus’ rising.

Canon Kenneth Padley, Canon Treasurer of Salisbury Cathedral, who has overseen the construction of the garden said,

“The Dean was keen to bring the Easter story out of the building and share it with visitors to the Close, as an invitation to join us for worship and to share this sacred period with us.”

The new Easter Garden will stay in place until Pentecost on 28 May. More details here.

A full-size copy of the world-famous Shroud of Turin has just arrived at Derby Cathedral and will be on display until Sunday 7 April.

The Shroud of Turin exhibition includes a 15 foot replica image which is a photograph printed onto cotton by an American photographer, Barrie Schwortz, who was the official photographer at the STuRP (Shroud of Turin Research Project) examination of the Shroud in 1978.

One of the purposes of the exhibition is to show how brutal crucifixion really was and to tell the story of the crucifixion of Jesus. The exhibition includes original Roman nails, a replica whip and a spear. And there are information boards about art, history and the latest research on the Shroud.

There is the return of Southwell Minster’s Walking Through Good Friday family trail around the building which will tell the Easter story along the way and includes take-away crafts to do at home.

Donkeys will lead the procession through the streets for Palm Sunday at St Albans Cathedraland it’s the return of the Diocesan Easter Monday pilgrimage. This annual Pilgrimage and service is a family event which includes grandparents, parents, young people, children, babies and even dogs from across the Diocese all journeying to the Mother Church, St Albans Cathedral, to celebrate the risen Christ.

Coventry Cathedral Chorus’ Good Friday Concert will reflect upon the Easter themes of love, sacrifice and hope.

Find out more about their Easter services here:

There are informal café style services on Palm Sunday and Easter Day as part of #PompeySundays at Portsmouth Cathedral this Easter and an Easter egg hunt on Easter Day too.

Portsmouth’s Lent, Holy Week and Easter events and services take place against the backdrop of a very special art exhibition, Lazarus Raised a collection of works by local artist Garrick Palmer, a painter, printmaker, and photographer.

He studied at Portsmouth College of Art and Design (1951-55) and then at the Royal Academy (1955-59). He later taught at Winchester School of Art from 1958-86 and became Head of the Foundation Department. His work is held in many private and public collections.

This group of Lazarus-themed artworks have been generously loaned from private collections.

This exhibition in the Cathedral was a project very dear to Garrick Palmer’s heart and much discussed before he sadly died in July 2023.