Easter Worship from Canterbury and Durham Cathedrals

20th March 2024

The BBC has announced its Holy Week and Easter programming.

It includes three live services from Canterbury Cathedral on Easter Day and a performance, featuring a group of amateur singers, of Bach’s St John Passion to mark its 300th anniversary. 

An edition of the Sunrise Service from Durham Cathedral will start Easter Day on Radio 4, featuring a “poetic pilgrimage” in which the poet and churchwarden Jay Hulme reflects on the link between faith and the natural world in the north-east of England, visiting the Northumberland countryside and Durham Cathedral.

Sunrise Easter Service at Durham Cathedral

On Easter Day, the Archbishop of Canterbury will preach at the 8.10 a.m. communion service in Canterbury Cathedral, broadcast live on BBC Radio 4, then give his Easter address at the 10 a.m. sung eucharist, broadcast on BBC1.

Choral evensong from Canterbury will be heard on Radio 3 at 3 p.m.

The 10am Easter Sunday Eucharist is now fully booked – but you can join in as the service will be live-streamed on Canterbury Cathedral’s YouTube channel here or via the Canterbury Cathedral website here.

And to mark the 300th anniversary of St John Passion by J S Bach, choirmaster Gareth Malone will take eight previously untrained singers and prepare them for a performance alongside the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the BBC Singers, and a group of soloists.

This two-part documentary will be broadcast on BBC1, starting on Good Friday, and the full performance will be shown on BBC2 on the evening of Easter Day.

Many of our cathedrals are marking this special anniversary when they perform St John Passion as part of their Holy Week musical programming this year.