Winchester Cathedral has today released final information of their Advent and Christmas Services this year.
Giving his Christmas message, The Dean of Winchester, The Very Revd James Atwell fees that: “The Christmas story is one that changes our lives.
“It arouses joy, wonder and hope for the future in equal measure: ‘unto us a child is born’. It shapes our sensitivity to the poor and the marginalised: ‘because there was no place for them in the inn’. It raises the question of a particular destiny belonging to the Christ-child with ‘Royal David’s City’, the Wise Men from far away and even a cosmic dimension with the star. May your worship at the Cathedral this year help you to draw on the power of the Christmas story. May your Christmas celebration bring a blessing to you, your family and all with whom you share it.”
Starting with the Advent Carol Service, which takes place at 6.30pm on Saturday 1 December, the preparations for the coming of the Christ Child begin with a service of light, sung by the Boy and Girl Choristers of the Cathedral and drawing our thoughts to the true story of the season.
This year will see more carol services and concerts in the run-up to the big day than before, with The Waynflete Singers and Britten’s cantata St Nicholas, which gives an insight into the history of the man behind the story of Santa Claus (Sat 8th, 7.30).
Popular broadcaster, writer and gardener, Alan Titchmarsh, returns to the Cathedral to host the Lord Lieutenant’s Carol Concert (Fri 14th, 7.00), again with the boys and girls of the choir, a sequence of more light-hearted readings and music for Christmas. Tickets for this are going fast, so please do book as soon as possible.
Next come the Cathedral Chamber Choir, conducted George Castle, in his first year as the Cathedral’s Assistant Director of Music, with carols for Advent and Christmas (Sat 15th, 1.00). On Friday 21st, the boy and girl choristers will sing Britten’s Ceremony of Carols at 1.00.
And then to the main Carol Services on Thu 20th and Saturday 22nd at 6.30 (please be seated by 6pm) at which the Cathedral Choir will lead the congregation in a celebration of traditional and new carols.
On Christmas Eve, families are invited to services at 11.00 and 3.00, when children can dress as shepherds, wise men, angels and townspeople and join the Holy Family at the crib. Later that day, the main crib will be blessed at Evensong (5.30) and the Midnight Eucharist will start at 11.30pm (main doors only open at 10.30pm) as we welcome in Christmas Day itself. The service will be led by The Bishop of Winchester, The Right Revd Timothy Dakin, in his first year as the Diocesan Bishop, who will also preach at the 10.00 service of Choral Mattins on Christmas Day. Dean James preaches at the 11.15 Sung Eucharist and the day concludes with Choral Evensong and a procession to the Christmas Tree at 3.30.
Admission to services (including the Chamber Choir Concert and Britten’s Ceremony of Carols is free of charge with collections. Tickets for other events are from the Cathedral Box Office on 01962 857 275 and online.
Throughout the period, the Christmas Market and Ice Rink will be running in the Inner Close (market to 23rd, ice rink to 6 Jan) and details of all of these services and events are available here.
Opportunities for coverage throughout the market are available. Please contact the Cathedral Press Office:
Telephone: 01962 857 217 / 07968 549 628