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Find Peace and Joy at Gloucester Cathedral this Christmas

Christmas services at Gloucester Cathedral 2022

Gloucester Cathedral has announced a packed programme of events, services and concerts for the Advent and Christmas period
Nothing says ‘Christmas’ like Gloucester Cathedral, and there’s something on offer for everyone throughout the festive period.
Canon Andrew Braddock, Interim Dean of Gloucester, said:
“Gloucester Cathedral invites you to come and celebrate the peace and joy of Christmas. In troubled times, we will be celebrating the birth of Christ by focusing on the need for peace: peace in our hearts, peace in our homes, peace in our communities and peace in our world.

Do join us, whether it’s for worship, music or to take part in one of the many events or family activities that we have planned. Whatever brings you here over the festive period, all are warmly welcome.”

Further details about all the Cathedral’s events can be found below, as well as at
Ticketed services

This year, the traditional Cathedral Carol Service will be taking place at 6pm on Thursday 22 and Friday 23 December. Featuring all the well-known readings and music performed by the Cathedral Choir, this is the perfect way to get into the festive spirit. These two services will be ticketed to manage capacity; tickets are free of charge and can be booked via the Cathedral website in advance from 12noon on Thursday 10 November 2022. Alternatively, tickets can be booked in person at the Cathedral Welcome Desk.
Non-ticketed services

A number of other services will be taking place at the Cathedral throughout the period of Advent and Christmas. This includes the Advent Carol Procession at 6pm on Sunday 27 November, as well as the two Family Crib Services at 2.30pm on Friday 23 and Saturday 24 December.  Midnight Mass will also take place at 11.30pm on Christmas Eve, and on Christmas Day, Holy Communion will take place at 8am, followed by the Christmas Day Eucharist at 10.15am and Evening Prayer at 4pm. All are warmly invited to join us for all these services, as we come together to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. No tickets are required to attend.
There will be plenty of opportunities to experience world-class music, including at the annual performance of Britten’s Ceremony of Carols at 4.15pm on Sunday 4 December. This is always a magical evening, and this year the Boy Choristers will be joined by Harpist Elfair Grug Dyer. Other musical highlights include Jonathan Hope’s performance of Messiaen’s stunning La Nativité du Seigneur at 6pm on Sunday 11 December, as well as the hugely popular ‘Carols on the Hour’ on Saturday 17 December. Between 11am and 4pm, carols will be sung on the hour by the choirs of the Cathedral, as well as by the Caring Chorus, and at 4pm there will be a community sing-along on Upper College Green with Gloucester Strings Ukulele.
There will be a number of other concerts hosted by local organisations who do vital work in the city, including Gloucester City Mission, Longfield Hospice, Meningitis Now and Ecclesiastical Insurance, and Gloucester Choral Society and Saint Cecilia Singers will be returning for their fun-filled festive performances. Please visit the Cathedral website for further information about all these events.
Beautiful decorations
From Friday 9 December, the Cathedral will be transformed with festive decorations. This includes giant trees in the Nave and on Cathedral Green, and sparkling lights around the inside of the building. The Cloister will also be fully decorated, with each area following a different theme; new for this year will be a special community-focused section of the Cloister, with a traditional Ukrainian tree and the chance to leave your very own message of peace and hope.
Cathedral Christmas Experiences at Night
On 9, 10, 14, 19, 20 and 21 December, you’re invited to come and explore your Cathedral after dark when the decorations will look all-the-more spectacular. There will be live music provided by the Cathedral musicians and friends, and new for this year will be the opportunity to purchase special ‘VIP’ tickets which include access to either the Tower or the medieval Library in addition to the main event. The Monk’s Kitchen and Gift Shop will be open late too, offering a wide array of festive fayre to complete your evening. Tickets for these experiences will become available via the Cathedral website from Thursday 10 November.
Family activities
Families are invited to come and share the good news of the birth of Jesus as part of the Cathedral’s brand-new Christmas Story Family Trail, which will be available between Friday 9 December and Friday 6 January. The much-loved, giant Knitivity will also be returning to the Quire of the Cathedral so you’ll be able to say hello to some familiar faces. On 20, 21 and 22 December there will be family activity sessions taking place in the Chapter House between 12.30pm-3.30pm, offering the chance to get stuck in with festive-themed arts and crafts. The Cathedral asks that you register your place for these sessions in advance, which you can do by visiting All these activities are free, but donations are welcome.
The Monk’s Kitchen and Gift Shop
Throughout December, The Monk’s Kitchen eatery will be offering a wide range of delicious seasonal treats, including their famous homemade mince pies. Also on offer will be the ‘Nativi-tea’, which gives a festive twist to the traditional Afternoon Tea with white chocolate and cranberry fudge, candy canes, mince pies and mulled wine. It’s priced at £14.50 per person, and can be booked in advance by calling 01452 689755.
Meanwhile, the Cathedral Gift Shop will be stocking a fantastic selection of cards, decorations and unique stocking fillers, making it the ideal place to finish your Christmas shopping.
Homeless Hamper Collection
The Cathedral has once again partnered up with Gloucester City Mission for the Homeless Hamper Collection. Between Thursday 1 December and Sunday 11 December, visitors can drop off donations such as mince pies, pot noodles, tea, toiletries and warm clothing to a collection point in the Nave of the Cathedral. The hampers will then be distributed to those who are experiencing homelessness before Christmas Day. All donations are greatly appreciated.

Explore Gloucestershire
9 November 2022

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