Chichester Cathedral has unveiled its plans for Advent and Christmas, inviting the Chichester community and beyond to come together in celebration, responding to the theme of: ‘The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it’ (John 1.5).
A festive programme of services, music, visual arts and digital experiences will respond to the theme, selected by the Dean of Chichester, the Very Reverend Stephen Waine:
“This year’s theme of ‘The light shines in the darkness’ encourages us to approach this joyous celebration of the birth of Jesus with optimism and hope. At Chichester Cathedral, we invite you to join us as we travel in heart and mind to Bethlehem to see the child lying in the manger and to worship him. We look forward to welcoming you very soon, either in person or online.”
Read on below to find out how you can celebrate Advent and Christmas with Chichester Cathedral
Worship & Music
On top of the Cathedral’s schedule of regular services, which all are invited to join, they are hosting a number of special services for Advent and Christmas.
Booking for the Cathedral Carol Services and services for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day will open at 9.30am on Friday 26th November. To book your space, please visit the Cathedral’s Ticketsource.
Advent Procession (Booking Essential)
Chichester Cathedral Friends | An Advent Concert by The Otter Consort
Cathedral Carol Services (Booking Essential)
Christmas Eve Services (Booking Essential)
Christmas Day Services
We are also delighted that vocal ensemble NMH will return to the Cathedral to perform two beautifully intimate Advent concerts: J. S. Bach's Magnificat and Wachet auf (4th December) and Handel's Messiah (18th December).
The history of art inside Chichester Cathedral spans almost as long a period of time as the history of the building itself. In-line with this tradition, the Cathedral is thrilled to present an exciting combination of exhibitions to mark the festive season.
Field of Blooms
29th November 2021 - 30th January 2022
Internationally acclaimed Visual Artist Bruce Munro’s immersive installation, Field of Blooms, will be on display at the Cathedral from 29th November 2021- 30th January 2022.
Presented within Paradise, a reflective green space within the Cathedral’s 600 year old Cloisters, the artwork comprises 1000 stems of light. These gently illuminated spheres of light, gradually change and morph in colour - a process which the Artist describes as “rhythms of light”.
British Artist Bruce Munro is best known for immersive large-scale light-based installations inspired largely by his interest in shared human experience. Field of Blooms has been presented internationally, including at Uluru, Australia – the original source of inspiration for the Artist.
The Chichester Nativity
16th December 2021 – 2nd February 2022
Created by Curator JacquilineCreswell, and Artist and Photographer Ash Mills, The Chichester Nativity is an immersive photographic installation, sharing the familiar story of the Nativity in the style of a renaissance tableau.
Unveiled in December 2020, the Characters within the artwork were drawn from local organisations, charities and medical services and paired symbolically to the roles within the Nativity, for example: angels acted as guardians of health and wellbeing; shepherds as providers of food and resources.
Earlier this year the artwork was shortlisted for the Best Partnership of the Year Award, as part of the Museums + Heritage Awards 2021. This will be the final presentation of the artwork at the Cathedral.
Reverse Advent Calendar
Each day, from 1st December, the Cathedral will be sharing the stories of local charities and volunteers, featured within The Chichester Nativity, on social media.
Audiences online will be invited to discover more about the vital work undertaken by these people and organisations, and encouraged to offer their support, following the impact of the pandemic.
The Advent Calendar will also feature music, activities for children and families – as well as some very special announcements.
Online Services & Carol Services
Joining together in song is central to Advent and Christmas celebrations, and in recognition that many people continue to shield and isolate in their homes, the Cathedral is re-releasing their special pre-recorded service – A Carol Service from Chichester.
The service has been especially written and recorded for on-line congregations and will tell the Christmas story with a selection of carols, bible readings and poetry. The online recording will have subtitles and will be made available from mid-December through the Cathedral website, as well as being distributed to care-homes, schools and groups across the Diocese of Chichester.
A number of services throughout Advent and Christmas will live-streamed to the Cathedral website and social media channels – for you to experience at home.