Thousands of visitors to Ripon Cathedral’s Christmas Gift and Food Fair from across the diocese and beyond have helped add £23,000 to the cathedral development appeal.
More than a hundred stalls of seasonal gifts and food replaced the pews and seating in the medieval building. Many visitors took advantage of a new feature this year - a park-and-ride’ service provided by local firms Wolseley UK and Atkinsons coaches.
Crowds also spilled over to the Old Deanery hotel nearby where the stalls of cakes, clothing, Christmas gifts and mulled wine continued.
Pictured manning the Dean’s raffle are Canon Wendy Wilby, the Bishop of Huddersfield, Jonathan Gibbs and Canon Ailsa Newby. It raised a record £1,100.
As children visited Santa’s Grotto, set up in the cathedral chancel, hundreds of turkey sandwiches were being served in the centre of the cathedral with cups of tea, coffee and mulled wine provided by scores of cathedral volunteers. Children’s craft activities, face painting, raffle, a tombola and home-made Christmas cakes were accompanied by local music groups and choirs including the Skelldale Singers, Ripon Trinity Choir, Collavoce, Lilly Worth, Vocal Expressions, Eurythmia Ensemble, and Knot Another Choir.
Margaret Hammond, Ripon Cathedral’s Development Campaign Manager, said “the event marks the start of the Christmas celebrations for the local community, it is wonderful to see so many families both inside the Cathedral and also shopping in the city. The Christmas Light Switch On also took place on the Market Square which attracted a large number of families and visitors to Ripon.
“The fair could not take place without the help of so many volunteers, and we are truly grateful to everyone who helped on the day …Everyone worked so hard and helped in so many different ways to make sure the event was a huge success”
Plans are already in place to repeat the event next year on Saturday 24 November. For further information contact Margaret Hammond, Campaign Manager, Ripon Cathedral Development Campaign, Liberty Courthouse, Minster Road, Ripon, HG4 1QS. Tel: 01765 603583 email: margarethammond [at] riponcathedral.org.uk