Christmas at Carlisle, Salisbury and Worcester Cathedrals.

14th December 2022

This Christmas there is a full calendar of Christmas concerts, carol services, worship and festive events at all our cathedrals from festive felting to rare treasures on display as well as the usual traditional services.

Christmas is shaping up brilliantly at Cathedrals across the Country.

Festive felt workshops, a traditional Ukrainian carol, King Richard II’s Christmas menu and other rare treasures on display: It’s Christmas at Carlisle, Salisbury and Worcester Cathedrals.

Carlisle Cathedral has announced it is keeping its heating on, its doors open and a warm welcome for anyone who wants it.

Canon Michael Manley, Canon Missioner and Interim Dean said:

“Through the Christmas season we hope that as many people as possible will want to celebrate the good news of God’s love revealed to us in the Christmas story.

“With the current hardship of the cost-of- living crisis many in our community will be struggling this winter, but please know that the Cathedral is always open, the heating is on, a warm welcome is extended to everyone and our clergy team is available to anyone who may need support”.

Christmas at Carlisle Cathedral

Carlisle Cathedral is leading the city’s celebrations with the annual Christmas Gala Concert this Friday (16 December). Hurry to Bethlehem is a short 50-minute blast of people’s favourite carols, there’s the traditional Festival of Readings and Carols for Christmas, the ever-popular Christmas Crib Service on Christmas Eve, Midnight Eucharist and the Bishop of Carlisle will preach at the Christmas Morning Eucharist.

The café is open til late throughout December and there is a busy schedule of festive craft activities for the whole family, including a workshop to make handcrafted, needle-felted Christmas baubles, a Festive Jar Activity and people are invited to make Christmas star decoration activities inspired by Carlisle Cathedral’s famous ceiling.

Find all events and service details here.

Christmas at Salisbury Cathedral

Photo Credits – Ash Mills, Salisbury Cathedral

Salisbury Cathedral has a treat in store for its late-night visitors during the Christmas period when some fabulously rare and special books will be on display in the Library including:

  • C13 Gospel of St Luke, a manuscript book written in Latin which will be open at the Christmas Story
  • A rare and precious copy of Legenda Aurea (The Golden Legend) – about the lives of saints. Witten by Jacobus de Voragine and published in 1496
  • A copy of the playwright Ben Jonson’s Christmas, his masque published four years after his death in 1637

Tickets are now on sale for Salisbury’s Gustav Holst’s The Planets concert transcribed for the organ by John Challenger, Salisbury’s own Assistant Director of Music, with special video footage, and poems written and performed by Martin Figura,  poet in residence at NHS Salisbury 2021.

The poems are currently being created in workshops with Salisbury schools organised by the Cathedral’s Education team and the music charity, La Folia.

Eminent female composers feature in Salisbury’s festive offerings with two special carols that will be sung by the Cathedral Choir during Carols by Candlelight. Errollyn Wallen’s Salisbury Carol was commissioned by Salisbury Cathedral and will receive its world premiere, and the Choir will also sing a choral arrangement of Sleep, Jesus, Sleep, a traditional Ukrainian carol written by composer Roxanna Panufnik, in support of the Refugee Council.

There’s a tiny angel trail, festive crafts, festive films and twilight tower tours to take in the splendour of Salisbury at Christmas from above.

You can find Salisbury Cathedral’s Christmas events and services in full here.

Who eats Kentucky Fried Chicken for Christmas? 

Find out this and much more – including Richard II’s Christmas Feast menu at The History of Christmas – a special talk this week at Worcester Cathedral that will explore Christmas from its pagan origins to how it became a Christian Festival.

Worcester Cathedral’s medieval cloister is filled with Christmas trees each decorated by local groups and organisations, there’s the opportunity to write a message or prayer to hang on the Cathedral’s own Christmas tree, there’ ‘s a selfie trail and festive family activities inspired by the Victorians.


Christmas at Worcester Cathedral

And this year, as part of Worcester Cathedral’s Adopt a piece of History programme, they are offering people the chance to Adopt an Angel. You can choose from favourite angelic stained-glass windows in the Cloister to one of the  spandrels in the Dean’s Chapel to adopt for a year on behalf of a loved one, supporting the ongoing work and ministry of the cathedral too.

You can find all Worcester Cathedral’s Christmas services here.

All our cathedrals have a rich and varied programme of events, concerts and worship to tell the Christmas story. Please go to each individual cathedral’s website to find out more.