Our cathedrals share their Christmas plans

Our cathedrals across the diocese have been running extensive Advent programmes, with more to come in the week before Christmas.
Bradford, Ripon and Wakefield cathedrals have been running a variety of events, with strong online offerings alongside socially-distant and COVID-compliant small in-person activities.
Wakefield Cathedral has re-imagined their Christmas programme, which includes lighting up the building in red and green, an online nativity created by the choristers in lockdown, pop-up carols across the city, a nativity service with a difference, plus Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services.
The Canon Precentor, the Revd Canon Leah Vasey Saunders said: “This year has brought challenges in which we have all been forced to live very differently.
“Many of our lives have been changed forever by the loss of a loved one, and there is a lot to grieve about.
“We will all be celebrating Christmas differently this year, and for many of us it will be a far more humble Christmas. 
“But a humble Christmas is so much more at the heart of that very first Christmas.
“So this year as we remember the baby born in the manger, let us draw closer to the true spirit of Christmas as we reflect on this challenging year. 
“The Christmas story reminds us that God chooses to be with us.”
To see more about Wakefield Cathedral’s Christmas programme, please click here.
At Ripon Cathedral Christmas is also looking different this year, but there are still plenty of familiar services and new experiences to enjoy. 
To help people get into the spirit of Christmas, there will be four services of lessons and carols at 5.30pm on December 19, 20, 23 and 24.  
The service on December 23 will be live streamed on YouTube.
On Christmas Eve at 11am a family-friendly service, Journey to Bethlehem, will be held with children encouraged to dress as characters from the nativity and join in the story. 
Midnight Mass and the blessing of the crib will take place at 11pm.
The Christmas Day Festal Eucharist with the Bishop of Leeds, the Rt Revd Nick Baines, will take place at 10.30am and also be streamed live. 
It will be sung by the lay clerks and choristers of Ripon Cathedral Choir.
There is a new experience for children to enjoy this Christmas: the Follow a Star trail. 
Children can pick up a nativity card, go around the cathedral, guided by a trail of silver stars, and stop at various places to read a rhyme and unpack a clue to discover which of the different characters in the nativity story it refers to.
Many of the cathedral’s services will be available online- click here to see more about their full programme.
Bradford Cathedral will be helping to bring comfort and joy to those living in the city, and further afield, with its Advent and Christmas programme including services, events, and a daily video every day in December, as part of its online #BradventCalendar.
Services, events and activities are taking place throughout the season. 
The cathedral has been running its daily #BradventCalendar this month, with a specially created video launching on its YouTube channel, Facebook page and website each day. 
The 24 videos cover a whole range of things, from reflections to music, craft activities to poetry reading, how to make your own Christingle, and even tips from across the District about how you can live a more environmentally friendly Christmas. 
There are other activities to engage with online, including the Diocese of Leeds’ newly released ‘Rhythm of Life’ resources, designed to encourage children, young people and families to explore praying, encouraging, sharing, reflecting, celebrating, resting and creating; as well as an ‘Advent Book Study Course’.
The Revd Canon Mandy Coutts, Canon for Mission and Pastoral Development said: “This season, Bradford Cathedral is going to celebrate the twin themes of comfort and joy. 
“Christmas is always a time of joy and celebration, and here we like to do that in style.
“But it’s also been a perplexing and troubling year; a year in which we’ve needed comfort more than ever.
“And so this year we also seek to bring comfort to those in need; those who are feeling the sadness of this time, and of the circumstances.
“So here at Bradford Cathedral, we will be bringing comfort and joy in equal measure this coming month.”
To see all of what Bradford Cathedral has planned, please click here.

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