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Join us for Christmas at the Cathedral

Carols by candlelight, tower tours at twilight, a little donkey, giant puppets, an enormous Christmas

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Join us for Christmas at the Cathedral

Posted By : Marie Thomas Wednesday 23rd November 2016

Carols by candlelight, tower tours at twilight, a little donkey, giant puppets, an enormous Christmas tree plus one of the most popular seasonal choral works, Handel’s Messiah

(Watch our behind the scenes videos of all our preparations for Christmas, 'Vlogmas; Christmas in the Making' here)


Starting with our much loved Advent Procession 'Darkness to Light' at the end of November, Christmas is almost apon us and with it, plenty of uplifting music, joyous worship and family activities.


On Wednesday, 7 December the Messiah, including the famous Hallelujah chorus, is performed by the acclaimed City of London Sinfonia and the full Cathedral Choir (men, girls and boys), with international soloists Fflur Wyn, Robin Blaze, Nicholas Mulroy and Matthew Brook. All proceeds go towards the Choral Foundation, which supports music at the Cathedral. Doors for this not-to-be-missed concert open at 19.00 for 19.30. Tickets from £10 - are available here and on the door on the night.


St Thomas’ Parish Church are hosting a Christingle Service on Saturday 17 December at 16.00 - we are encouraging our families to join in this wonderful festive experience and will therefore not be holding a family service in the Cathedral that day. 


On Thursday 22 and Friday 23 December Carols by Candlelight tells the story of the nativity through Bible readings, beautiful choral works sung by the Cathedral Choir and favourite Christmas carols.


Christmas for families involves lots of activities for the younger members of our congregation including a special Family Christmas Eve Service at 15.30 on Saturday 24 December. Dress up as your own favourite character, or borrow a Nativity costume, and follow a real–life donkey and some specially made 10 foot puppets, who will help to tell the story of Mary and Joseph's journey to Bethlehem.


Staff and volunteers have built a new glove puppet theatre for Amazing Grace, this year’s Under Five’s Christmas Special. The theatre and glove puppets make their debut on Friday 9 December, with sessions between 09:45 – 10:45 or 11:00 – 12:00. There’s lots of opportunity to join in with music, song and dance, and children can wear their Christmas jumpers if they wish. Tickets £1.50 per child, no need to book just pay at the Welcome Desk - details here.


The Christmouse Trail is available from 16 December 2016 to 2 January 2017. Ask a guide for your free leaflet and hunt for the little Christmouse who has lost his way to the stable in Bethlehem then collect your glittery sticker from the Shop afterwards.The trail is available each day except during services. 


Plus we have our spectacular, new, interactive light installation, the 'Star of Bethlehem' by Jayson Haebich - come and change the star's shape and colours!


The Royal Artillery Band (conducted by Major Jason Griffiths), Salisbury Cathedral Choir and the Junior Choir are recording BBC Wiltshire’s Carols in the Cathedral on Sunday 11 December. Doors open at 14.30 and everyone must be seated by 14.50. The concert will be broadcast on BBC Wiltshire this Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Tickets from £6 - book here.


Finally, view the Christmas lights of Salisbury from up high! Timed to take place alongside Salisbury’s Christmas Market, the Twilight Tower Tour makes the perfect festive treat. Climb the 332 steps to the base of the spire, look out over the city’s newly lit Christmas lights and then enjoy a delicious cream tea in the Refectory restaurant afterwards. The tours can be booked here and those wishing to stay on are warmly invited to attend Choral Evensong at 17:30.


Christmas Worship takes place at the following times:

Thursday 22 December
16:00 Evening Prayer
19:00 Carols by Candlelight

Friday 23 December
16:00 Evening Prayer
19:00 Carols by Candlelight

Saturday 24 December, Christmas Eve
Please note altered times

07:30 Morning Worship
15:30 A Family Service for Christmas Eve
17:30 Choral Evensong
23:00 Midnight Mass

Sunday 25 December, Christmas Day
08:00 Holy Communion
10:30 The Eucharist
15:00 Festal Evensong

Sunday 15 January
17.00 Epiphany Procession.


View our full events listings here or download our Christmas highlights below.


Download our PDF icon Salisbury Cathedral Winter Events 2016.pdf.