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December at Bristol Cathedral
news | services | events
come and see
Carols by Candlelight Tickets On Sale

The concert includes carols sung by the Cathedral Choir, festive readings read by John Telfer, from BBC Radio 4's The Archers, and a chance for everyone to join in with some seasonal favourites! Due to popularity, we are delighted to offer this concert on both Friday 20 and Saturday 21 December, although tickets for Friday night have already sold out. 

Tickets are from £15, and are on sale at
Friday 20 December and
Saturday 21 December, 7.30pm
David Hoyle installed as Dean of Westminster

On Saturday 16 November, at 3.00pm, Dr David Hoyle was installed as the 39th Dean of Westminster.

Two coach-loads of supporters from the Cathedral travelled to Westminster Abbey to see our former Dean follow his predecessor Wesley Carr in the move from Bristol to Westminster. The Chapter, together with some familiar faces of former Chapter members, processed in led by the Deputy Head Verger. David was verged in by his former Head Verger, Glynn, before delivering his oath in Latin. 

A transcript and audio recording of David's sermon at this service can be found on the Abbey website here:

We wish David and Janet all the best, and keep them in our prayers.
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The Advent Procession

Advent is a time of expectation: the word itself means 'coming'. It recalls ancient Israel's hope for the advent of the Messiah, and the Christian hope for the fulfilment of God's Kingdom. 

The Processions in this service are a metaphor for a journey which we make together.

Sunday 1 December, 6.00pm
Sacred Space

Join us on Sunday 8 December for a special Advent Sacred Space. Experience led meditation and reflection with live Taize chant in a candlelit Cathedral. Mulled wine and mince pies will be served afterwards. Our theme will be 'Is there any room?'

Sunday 8 December, 6.00pm
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Family Carol Service
and Blessing of the Crib

Come along to this popular retelling of the nativity story especially for families, featuring well-known carols and readings.

Children are encouraged to come dressed as wise men, angels, or shepherds. (Adults too, if you want!) Music is provided by the Cathedral Choristers.

Sunday 22 December, 3.30pm

Shoppers' Carols

Experience a moment of calm in amongst the busy-ness of the season with a short carol service in the beautiful atmosphere of the Cathedral. 

Tuesday 17 December, 5.15pm
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Toddlers' Carols

Come along to this informal 45-minute long carol service for babies, toddlers and pre-school children. The Cathedral will be decorated for Christmas and we will sing all the favourites as we move around the building, so no need to worry about noise or wrigglers! Pram parking available.

Please be aware that these are very popular services.

Thursday 19 December,
10.00am and 2.00pm
The Festival of
Nine Lessons and Carols

Join us for one of the most-loved traditional Christmas services, as we journey through the story of God's creation to the manger in Bethlehem.
Due to the extremely popular nature of this service, please arrive in plenty of time to be seated.

Monday 23 December, 6.00pm:
doors open at 5.15pm
Christmas Eve, 3.30pm:
doors open at 2.45pm
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The Eucharist of
Christmas Night

Welcome in the light of Christmas morning with this special midnight Eucharist. 

The Revd Canon Michael Johnson, Acting Dean of Bristol will preach.

Christmas Eve, 11.00pm:
doors open 10.15pm
The Festival Eucharist
of the Nativity of Our Lord

Join us as we celebrate Christmas morning. The Bishop of Bristol will preach and preside. The Cathedral Choir will be accompanied by the organ, a string quartet and a trumpeter. Families and children: all are welcome.

Christmas Day, 10.00am
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Join Bristol Cabot Choir for their annual Christmas Concert.

Vaughan Williams "Fantasia on Christmas Carols", Rutter's "Gloria" and other pieces will be performed by the choir and conducted by Rebecca Holdeman. Tickets on sale via Bristol Cabot Choir.

Monday 9 December, 7.30pm

Add a little music to your day with our Lunchtime Recitals on Tuesdays 10 and 17 December at 1.15pm.

Emma Gibbins, Director of Music, St Woolos Cathedral, Newport 
Tuesday 10 December, 1.15pm

Andrew Millington, Former Director of Music, Exeter Cathedral
Tuesday 17 December, 1.15pm
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La Nativité du Seigneur

Join us for an organ recital of Olivier Messiaen's classic Christmas organ cycle, La Nativité du Seigneur.

Messiaen’s organ cycle presents a tableaux of nine movements, telling not only the story of the nativity of Jesus Christ, but also a journey which expresses theological ideas through music.

Performed by David Bednall and Paul Walton, this free recital is a meditative, multi-sensory experience, performed in a candlelit Cathedral suffused with incense: sound, light, and scent in praise to God.

Tuesday 17 December, 7.00pm
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Climate Emergency

The Diocese of Bristol had just declared a climate emergency and become the first in the UK to commit to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2030 (20 years earlier than the aim of the national church). This ground-breaking announcement comes as the wider world seems to be waking up to the severity of the climate crisis. Over the past year Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion have become household names, and in Bristol alone we’ve seen the City Council, University and a wealth of local institutions from the Old Vic to the Colston Hall all declaring a climate emergency recently.

Bishop Viv responded to the decision with the words: “Care for God’s creation is key to our Christian faith. Climate change hits our poorest global neighbours first and worst, exacerbating migration, conflict over resources and the spread of disease. By declaring Climate Emergency, our practical action and collection voice will send a strong message. We must all act now.”

For more information visit the Diocesan website: 

Things to do at Christmas

Looking for other things to do around Christmas in Bristol?

Highlights include:
  • Christmas Markets
  • Christmas at Cheddar Gorge and Caves
  • The Festival of Light at Longleat
  • Special Offers
  • And more
There's plenty to see and do beyond the Cathedral, and you can see what's on at the Visit Bristol website here:

Visit Bristol recently revealed a new art installation on the windows of the Colston Hall, one panel of which features the Cathedral (pictured) above the word "SPECTACULAR".

We heartily concur. 
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Almighty God,
give us grace to cast away the works of darkness
and to put on the armour of light,
now in the time of this mortal life,
in which your Son Jesus Christ came to us in great humility;
that on the last day,
when he shall come again in his glorious majesty
to judge the living and the dead,
we may rise to the life immortal;
through him who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Collect for Advent, said daily throughout the season

Please note that between Christmas Day and New Years' Day,
the Cathedral will be open between 9.00am and 5.00pm.
Morning Prayer will take place at 10.00am, and Evening Prayer 3.30pm
Copyright © Bristol Cathedral 2019, All rights reserved.

Bristol Cathedral, College Green, Bristol, BS1 5TJ
0117 926 4879

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