Salisbury Cathedral Camels

21st December 2021

The camels arrived to rehearse their part in Salisbury Cathedral’s Christmas Eve Family Service last week – causing an overnight sensation in the media and inspiring awe and wonder in all who encountered them.

Salisbury Cathedral Family Service. Now with added camels.

The Family Service at Salisbury Cathedral (5.30pm on 24 Dec) is a lively and imaginative family service and this year promises to be even more spectacular, with three camels from Little Durnford joining their regular donkey, Jilly from Teffont, plus giant 8ft Nativity puppets.

Salisbury Cathedral Family Christmas Service

And this year, for the first time, the Cathedral has introduced a new child-friendly, wooden Nativity created by Ray Wirick, a chainsaw artist.

The figures including the Holy Family, sheep, and a donkey went on display from Wednesday (15 Dec), marked by a festive open evening. The new Nativity will be blessed in the Carol Services on 22 and 23 December.

It took cathedral staff and volunteers hours and hours to decorate the 33ft Norway Spruce grown and felled in Longleat Forest, where trees are managed sustainably and a new tree will be planted in its place.

Salisbury Cathedral has also displayed its Nativity panels for the first time since 2019. The Renaissance style tableau is printed on voile and features members of staff and volunteers, past and present. The three enormous panels are around 10ft (3m) wide by over 35ft (10.5m) long and hang nearly 50ft (14m) above the ground in the Spire Crossing.

All Salisbury Cathedral’s Advent services can be found on its website.

Salisbury Cathedral Family Christmas Service

All our cathedrals have varied Advent programmes with a wide range of services, events and activities. Please check your cathedral’s individual website for service and event times. 

Face coverings are now mandatory in our cathedrals unless you are exempt, tickets may be required at some highlight services to help our cathedrals manage numbers and keep people safe, and many of our services will be livestreamed.

Photo Credits – Tom Gregory


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