A very cathedral Christmas

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Even a global pandemic can’t stand in the way of Lichfield Cathedral being the focal point of the region’s festive celebrations – with some very special plans in store for this month

Christmas may be different for all of us this year but we can be sure of one thing – Lichfield Cathedral will continue to be a focal point for celebrations.

For centuries the cathedral has formed the centrepiece of many people’s festive season and this year, whilst a little unusual, will still give us all a dose of that Christmas cheer that we crave.

The Very Revd Adrian Dorber, Dean of Lichfield, said: “Undoubtedly Advent and Christmas are going to be quite different in 2020. Whatever happens between now and December 25 in terms of public health and national policy, we’re reimagining a plan for Advent and Christmas with great ingenuity.

A Cathedral Illuminated 2016

“Christmas is such an important moment in the Christian calendar that we will find ways to bring the atmosphere and spirit of the season to the community we serve.”

Alongside a programme of services in the run up to Christmas Lichfield Cathedral will be hosting the award-winning The Cathedral Illuminated in a different format to create an enjoyable and COVID-secure experience for all.

The Cathedral Illuminated 2020: The Manger will run from December 16 to 22 with early showings from 5pm on into the evening.

This year the event will be completely outside with a safe one-way route created around the Close and significantly reduced numbers of time slots per evening.

The spectacular light and sound show will be viewed facing the front of the cathedral, where there is ample room for people to enjoy the show while remaining safe and socially distanced from other households.

“Christmas wouldn’t be the same in Lichfield without The Cathedral Illuminated,” said Peter Walker, from the artistic collaboration Luxmuralis that creates the light and sound show”

“Families from far and wide have made it part of their Christmas tradition and we felt it was important to rework the illuminations for our current situation”

“We have been working closely with the cathedral over the last few months to create a truly festive experience that is safe for people to attend.

“We have incorporated some really beautiful imagery into the projection on the front of the cathedral to create a special moment for everyone who visits.”

To mark the 150th anniversary of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, a special piece has been created in collaboration with the Dickens Museum London to kick off the illuminations.

Following this there will be a light and sound celebration of all things festive – trees, presents, carols, lights and Santa Claus.

The grand finale to the Cathedral Illuminated will be a visual re-telling of the Christmas story using footage of the inside of the cathedral as a backdrop.

This year’s Cathedral Illuminated is made possible in part by the financial support of Richard Winterton Auctioneers.

Richard Winterton said: “Each year The Cathedral Illuminated brings so much joy and festive cheer to the city and we fervently hope that this year it will also serve as a beacon of light to a brighter future built on the joy of Christmas.”

Lichfield Cathedral has also formed a partnership with St Paul’s Cathedral in Minnesota, USA, which will be projecting parts of the Cathedral Illuminated show onto its own building during the first three days of the illuminations in Lichfield as an international display of solidarity.

The Cathedral Illuminated will run from December 16 to 22 with timed tickets from 5pm into the evening. Tickets are £5.50 for adults, £4 for children (under 5s are free) or £16 for a family. Tickets are available from www.lichfield-cathedral.org/illuminated


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