Twinkling stars – Chester Cathedral

Light and hope are the twin themes for Chester Cathedral this Advent as it opens two new art installations as part of its annual Christmas Tree festival designed to inspire the local community and beyond in this pandemic year

Twinkling stars – part of twin themes of light and hope at Chester Cathedral this Christmas

Starry Starry Night is a constellation of hundreds of stars surrounding one large bright star, all suspended on gold and silver ribbons from the crossing in the centre of the Cathedral.

Created by artist, Peter Walker, Starry Starry Night was designed as a visual interpretation of the Star of Bethlehem and is part of Chester Cathedral’s Advent programme to bring joy and inspire hope this Christmas.

Said Peter Walker:

“At the end of this dark and difficult year, ‘Starry Starry Night’ is designed to allow us to recall the journey of the Magi, and the hope that was found in the stars that lead them on their journey.

“At this time, in this year, the symbolism of a star of hope, a star of wonder, is even more powerful. I hope that people will enjoy their Christmas journey through the Cathedral and take a moment to stand and wonder”.

Starry Starry Night is one of two art installations opening in the cathedral this week. Peter Walker’s national touring exhibition, Leaves of the Trees will also open – it features 5,000 steel leaves inscribed with the word HOPE and was designed as a reflective memorial to enable people to think about the impact the pandemic has had on them and their communities. This will be in the Cathedral’s Chapter House.

The Dean of Chester, the Very Revd Dr Tim Stratford says

“As we near the end of this very challenging year, we think of ourselves as very fortunate to be re-opening to visitors and pleased to host Peter Walker’s emotional installation which I hope will become a place for reflection, for hope and strength for the people of Chester and beyond.

I hope too, that as the installation sits within our Christmas Tree Festival, that it brings joy and inspires people to look beyond the pandemic, to celebrate Christmas safely, with family and with God.”

Schools and businesses are currently putting the finishing touches to their Christmas trees to be part of this, its eighth annual Christmas Tree Festival. This year the Cathedral has asked people to make rainbows and have dedicated one tree on which they will hang the rainbows as a Thank You to the NHS

Chester Cathedral’s Christmas Tree Festival including Starry Starry Night and Leaves of the Trees opens on Thursday 3 December.

Chester Cathedral is in Tier 2 which means it can go ahead with its planned Advent and Christmas events in accordance with the latest Government and Public Health guidance. Visitors must observe social distance, use hand sanitising stations, always wear a face covering (unless exempt) and adhere to the Test and Trace system.

To book, just click here to visit the Chester Cathedral website here.