There are plenty of treats in store at the Cathedral this Advent and Christmas with choral concerts planned for November and December, a Christmas Fair, Twilight Tower Tours and special family activities, as well magnificent services like 'From Darkness to Light' and wonderful Christmas worship.
Bach's Christmas Oratorio
At a second concert on Saturday 12 December, Salisbury Cathedral Choir will perform Parts 1 to 3 of J S Bach’s Christmas Oratorio in German. Once again the choir will be directed by David Halls and accompanied by the period orchestra, Charivari Agréable Simfonie with four distinguished performers - Helen Meyerhoff, William Purefoy, Ben Alden and Christopher Foster – singing the solos.
The Christmas Oratorio was written for the Christmas season of 1734 and incorporates superbly joyful music from Bach’s earlier compositions. Tickets are £15.00 for unreserved seating and can be booked online here or bought on the door on the night - doors open at 19.00
All proceeds from both concerts go the Cathedral Choral Foundation, which supports all aspects of the Cathedral’s music.
Friends of Salisbury Cathedral Christmas Fair
Once again the fabulous Christmas Fair organised by the Friends of Salisbury Cathedral School will be held in the Cloisters on Saturday 21 November 2015.
Taking place between 11.00 and 15.00, the fair will showcase the products of more than 35 high quality traders selling everything from dog treats to camping kit and cashmere as well as a good selection of artisan food.
Almost all the traders this year are new to this event and between them offer an exclusive range of gifts that will give even the most discerning of shoppers a head start on Christmas.
Entrance: £2 adult, children free - for more information click here.
CHRISTMAS TOWER TOURS
Twilight Tower Tours
Take a romantic tour up to the Cathedral Tower and view the lights of Salisbury from on high!
Twilight Tower Tours at the Cathedral start on 27 November and run through until 23 December on every day except Sunday. The tours run at 15.15 every day and culminate in a delicious cream tea in the Cathedral’s award winning Refectory. Those wishing to stay on are welcome to attend Choral Evensong in the Cathedral at 17.30.
Timed to take place alongside Salisbury’s Christmas Market, the Twilight Tower tour and Evensong makes for a perfect festive day out.
Twilight Tours can be booked online here and cost £16.00 (adults), £11.50 (concessions) or £45 (family ticket, 2+3). Children must be over seven years of age and the maximum number of people on any tour is twelve.
'From Darkness to Light' Procession
A shining highlight of Advent at the Cathedral, 'From Darkness to Light' is one of the most moving and atmospheric services in the Cathedral year.
Starting with a single candle flickering to life, by the end of this glorious service the Cathedral is ablaze with the light of 13,000 candles, shining on the procession of thirty two Cathedral choristers and adult singers as it wends its way around the medieval building.
Canon Precentor, The Revd Tom Clammer said: “Darkness to Light, along with all the concerts and events that are taking place in the Cathedral during Advent and Christmas, allows us to reflect on, and rejoice in, Christ’s story, which is the story of renewal, hope and new life. Like Easter, this a very special period for the Cathedral as we explore again the gospel stories, retelling biblical events in a dramatic and moving way.”
'From Darkness to Light' is a unique blend of theatre and worship, inspired by ancient liturgical and musical traditions. You can apply for tickets for Friday's procession from the Events Department, Wyndham House, 65 The Close, Salisbury SP1 2EN and they will be posted out after Monday, 2 November 2015 (please send a self addressed envelope with your application). Tickets are limited to 4 per applicant in order to allow as many people as possible to benefit. If you are applying for a wheelchair ticket please specify on your request.
Saturday and Sunday are not ticketed and all seats are first come, first served.
The service commences at 19.00 on Friday 27 November and Saturday 28 November. On Sunday 29 November it starts at the earlier time of 17.00. Doors open an hour beforehand and those who wish to arrive early can queue under cover in the Cloisters, where seasonal refreshments of mulled wine and mince pies are available.
For more information click here.
BBC Wiltshire’s 'Carols at the Cathedral'
BBC Wiltshire’s 'Carols at the Cathedral' will be recorded on Sunday 13 December and will be transmitted on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day this year. The Carol service features both the Salisbury Cathedral Choir and Cathedral’s Junior Choir.
If you wish to take part in the recording tickets will be available from Monday 26 October from Salisbury Playhouse. Doors open at 14.30 and everyone must be seated by 15.00 for rehearsal. Late entry is not permitted due to the fact that the service is being recorded. Parking is free in the Culver Street carpark, Salisbury.
For more information click here.
For families with younger children this year’s Christmas Trail, Search For The Lost Shepherd, will run from 19 December 2015 - 3 January 2016! The trail involves searching for the little lost shepherd who was on his way to the stable in Bethlehem when he got separated from the others.
Families can collect a free leaflet inside the Cathedral and children can follow the clues to find the shepherd, at any time except during services, and can collect their glittery sticker from the shop afterwards.
On Monday 21 and Wednesday 23 December children can also join Christmas Creativity workshops to design and craft their own decorations, cards or small gifts. These creativity sessions run between 10.00 and 12.00 or 13.30 and 15.30. Meet in the Trinity Chapel.
Christmas Christmas Story Time
Christmas Story Time will be at 12.00 and 15.30 on 21 and 23 December and will take place by the Nativity.
Sunday 20 December
17.00 Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols
Monday 21 December
19.00 Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols
Thursday 24 December (Christmas Eve)
07.30 Morning worship and Holy Communion
16.00 Family Service Christmas
18.00 Choral Evensong
23.30 Midnight mass
Friday 25 December (Christmas Day)
08.00 Holy Communion
10.30 Sung Eucharist
15.00 Festal Evensong
Sunday 17 January
17.00 Epiphany Procession, celebrating the journey of the Magi
For any other enquiries contact Marie Thomas firstname.lastname@example.org 01722 555148