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Christmas Message From The Dean

New Crib At Hereford Cathedral

This year we have a new crib for Christmas. 


The old one had served us well and had involved many local schools, who had each contributed part of the scene – the holy family, the shepherds, an angel, the three kings and even a huge camel!  But after ten years, the crib was showing signs of age.


The new crib consists of four figures – Mary, Joseph, the baby Jesus and an angel.  The figures are about four feet high, designed by Sandy Elliott and carved in lime wood by Paul Caton, of Lingen near Presteigne.  They give a great sense of the simplicity of Christmas – there’s little by way of a surrounding stable – which is hinted at by a canopy over the scene. 


The scene is not complete, of course.  Next year we hope for a shepherd and sheep and the year after we trust that three kings will emerge! But for this year, we focus on the holy family – the child born in poverty – mother Mary  in her joy – Joseph in his wonder and care.


And our prayers are for all families the world over – for those where there is joy this Christmas – for those where there is sadness and anxiety – for families caught up in war and terrorism.


We give thanks, too, for our own families.  Perhaps some are far from us this Christmas – perhaps there are some with whom we’ve lost touch and there will be others whom we remember with fondness – those who worship with us ‘but on another shore and in a greater light, as that lovely Christmas prayer outs it.


We hope that our cathedral will give to all a sense of ‘family’ this Christmas, as we seek to offer a warm welcome to all, and assure all that we are all God’s children – open to his love, and forgiveness.


Michael Tavinor,
Dean of Hereford