In recent months we have been exploring the best ways in which we can deliver our traditional Advent and Christmas services whilst adhering to the current social distancing guidelines, which limit the seating in the cathedral to 195 people. This restriction means that we will have to make significant changes to this year’s liturgical programme.

The following services will not be taking place within the cathedral, instead they will be available to listen to online:

• Advent Carol Service
• Festival of Lessons and Carols
• Christingle Nativity Service
• Epiphany Carol Service

These services will be released onto our website on the days when they would ordinarily have taken place in the cathedral, so that our congregation can worship from home.

The following services on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day will take place in the cathedral, but each person attending will require a ticket for entry:

Christmas Eve
5.30 pm Choral Evensong sung by the cathedral choir

Christmas Day
8 am Holy Communion (said)

10 am Cathedral Eucharist sung by the cathedral choir

12 noon Choral Matins sung by the cathedral choir

3.30 pm Evening Prayer (said)

Tickets for these services are free of charge and applications can be made to the cathedral office from Monday 2 November, application forms will be available to download from the website or collect from the cathedral from Sunday 1 November.

The closing date for applications will be Monday 30 November and tickets will be limited to four per household. Please note that we will only be able to accept ticket requests via the application forms: should you have any difficulty acquiring one of these please contact the cathedral office via telephone or email.

We understand that this Christmas will look very different from previous years, but perhaps it will remind us that the first Christmas was a small and hidden affair when only a few people gathered at the manger, yet from it there blazed forth the light of Christ as good news for all the world. Our prayer this year is that the light of Christ will still shine as a beacon of hope and joy, even if fewer people can visit the cathedral to worship at the manger.