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Winchester Cathedral At Christmas

Winchester Cathedral has today released its schedule of services and events for Advent and Christmas 2010. Details will be on leaflets in the Cathedral, their website: www.winchester-cathedral.org.uk and from 01962 857 725, along with a range of other publications to be released in the coming weeks.

A full listing for the media is at the foot of this release.

As ever, the sequence commences with the Advent Carol Service at 6.30pm on Saturday 27th November, a service of darkness to light as preparation for the coming of the Christ Child. Then follows a number of carol services for local schools and other organisations, before the very popular Lord Lieutenant’s Carol Service at 7pm on Friday 17th December, again introduced by Alan Titchmarsh, with its mix of music and readings for Christmas and an opportunity for audience participation – tickets £25 to £10 are from the Cathedral Box Office on 01962 857 275 and online at www.winchester-cathedral.org.uk. On Sunday 19th December at 3.30pm, the end of the Christmas Market will be marked by ‘A Christmas Celebration’, a short carol service for market-goers and Winchester locals alike (no tickets required). The Boy and Girl Choristers will perform Britten’s Ceremony of Carols at 1pm on Tuesday 22nd December (no tickets required).

The main Christmas celebrations begin with carol services on Monday 20th, Tuesday 21st and Thursday 23rd December. The first of these services will be ticketed; free tickets for the general public for this service can be obtained from the Cathedral Box Office and online from Monday 8th November. The other two services will not be ticketed and are open to all. Doors open for each service at 5.15pm.

On Christmas Eve, there will be two Family Christmas Services (11am and 3pm) at which children are invited to dress as shepherds, angels, townspeople and kings and join Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus at the crib. Later in the day Evensong will be sung at 5.30pm with the blessing of the crib, and doors open (Main Entrance only) at 10.30pm for the Midnight Service.

Then to Christmas Day when services will be at 8am (Holy Communion), 10am (Choral Mattins), 11.15am (Sung Eucharist) and 3.30pm (Evensong and Procession).

Of course there are many other events going on around the Cathedral again this year in the run-up to Christmas. The increasing popular and spectacular Lantern Procession through the High Street will launch the Christmas Market and Ice Rink in the Close on Thursday 25th November at 6pm. Along with over 80 stalls selling a range of ideas for Christmas presents and beyond and a food court, this year will see a Father Christmas coming to visit in his Ice Cave, a live Christmas Nativity, Christmas and Twilight Tower Tours and much more. Look out for the Christmas in Winchester brochure (coming soon) and http://www.winchesterchristmasmarket.co.uk/ http://www.winchester-cathedral.org.uk/icerink/1/  already contain information about the market and rink themselves. There are also Facebook pages (Winchester Cathedral, Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market and Winchester Cathedral Ice Rink).

All of the Christmas activities at the Cathedral are being held as part of a new initiative across the city’s traders and attractions, promoting Winchester as England’s Christmas Capital.

Previous years have seen record numbers of visitors with an estimated 300,000 having come to the city in the run-up to Christmas, with over 100 coach trips being booked into the market alone, and despite the weather. Along with very popular services and other events, Cathedral organisers are hoping for another excellent year in which all will be able to take away not only some of the spirit but also some of the true meaning of Christmas.

Note for Editors

Full details of the Christmas Market and Ice Rink, along with opportunities during set-up, the launch and during the period of operation will follow shortly.

Full Listing

Services in the Cathedral

Daily Services Sunday Services
7.40am Mattins (said)
8.00am Holy Communion (said)
12.00pm Holy Communion (said)
 Thursdays and Saints’ Days only
5.30pm Evensong (normally choral) 8.00am Holy Communion (said)
9.45am Choral Mattins
11.00am Sung Eucharist
3.30pm Choral Evensong

Time of services can vary (especially on Sundays) please check www.winchester-cathedral.org.uk for details and see below for changes on Sundays during Advent.

Choral services will be sung by the Boy Choristers and Lay Clerks unless specified otherwise.

Admission to services is free, as is entering the Cathedral to pray or light a candle at any time.

Admission to all services below is free and no tickets are required (except 20 December). All are welcome to the services or to pray or light a candle at any time.

27 November, 6.30pm
Advent Carol Service
Sung by the full Cathedral Choir
28 November
28 November
Advent Sunday
7.35am Mattins (said)
8am Holy Communion (said)
10am Sung Eucharist
3.30pm Choral Evensong
19 December at 3.30pm
19 December,
The Fourth Sunday of Advent
7.35am Mattins (said)
8am Holy Communion (said)
10am Sung Eucharist

3.30pm  A Christmas Celebration
Afternoon Carol Service to mark the end of the Christmas Market. Shoppers can enjoy music and readings, sung by the Cathedral Choir
20, 21 and 23 December at 6.30pm
20, 21 & 23 December
Christmas Carol Services
A limited number of free tickets for the service on 20th are from the Cathedral Box Office from 8 November
(01962 875 275 and online at www.winchester-cathedral.org.uk)
No tickets are required for the services on 21st and 23rd.
Doors open each evening at 5.15pm
Candlelit suppers are also available. Tickets £25 from the Box Office
Christmas Eve
24 December
Christmas Eve
11am & 3pm Family Christmas Service
Children are invited to dress as shepherds, angels, townspeople and kings and join Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus at the crib.

5.30pm Choral Evensong and Blessing of the Crib

11.30pm Midnight Eucharist (doors open at 10.30pm – main entrance only)
Christmas Day
25 December
8am Holy Communion
10am Choral Mattins
11.15am Sung Eucharist
3.30pm Choral Evensong

Activities in the Cathedral and Close

Paper Lantern Procession
Leaving from the Great Hall
25 November at 6pm
Celebrate the opening of the Cathedral’s Christmas Market and Ice Rink by joining this grand parade of huge colourful paper lanterns through the city.  Beginning at the Great Hall and continuing down the High Street to the Cathedral for the official opening ceremony of the Christmas Market and Ice Rink.  To take part you will need to attend one of the following lantern making workshops: 12 and 13 November at the Refectory, Winchester Cathedral and 19 and 20 November at Winchester Guildhall.  Tickets £5.  Contact the Cathedral Box Office on 01962 857275 for tickets/information.

Christmas Market
Cathedral Close
25 November – 19 December.
Sun – Wed 10am – 6pm
Thu – Sat 10am – 8pm
Established as one of the best Christmas Markets in England, Winchester Cathedral’s Christmas Market must certainly be the most beautiful, with the spectacular Winchester Cathedral as its backdrop. The pretty wooden chalets, inspired by traditional German Christmas markets, offer a wide range of high quality crafts, gifts, decorations and festive foods.  More than 100 exhibitors.  Contact the Tourist Information Centre on 01962 840500

Ice Rink
Cathedral Close
 25 November - 3 January
10am – 8.30pm
This large real open-air ice rink couldn't be in a more magnificent and impressive setting.  Great to enjoy with friends and family or for celebrations and office Christmas parties.  Situated besides the ice rink is the Alpine Cafe, offering a warm and wonderful selection of food and drink – a great treat after an hour’s skate!  Tickets: Adults £9.50, Concessions £7.50, Family (2ad/2ch) £32.  Special offers available online. Telephone bookings: 01962 857276.  Online booking www.tickets.winchester-cathedral.org.uk

Live Nativity
The Cathedral
25 November – 16 December
Tue 10am – 6pm
Thu 10am – 8pm
Characters from the Christmas Story will be making appearances at the Christmas Market on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Children will be able to meet Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus and of course the donkey at this live Nativity.  Free admission.  For more information contact the Tourist Information Centre on 01962 840500

Father Christmas’ Ice Cave
Cathedral Close
25 November – 19 December
Meet Father Christmas in his amazing ice cave and take home a Christmas gift. Situated beside the Cathedral’s Ice Rink at the centre of the Christmas Market. Ticket £5.50 available on the day.  See Christmas Market for opening times.  For more information contact the Cathedral Box Office on 01962 857276 or visit www.winchester-cathedral.org.uk

Christmas Tower and Twilight Tours
27 November – 24 December
Join Cathedral tower guides and venture up into the Cathedral’s stunning roof spaces and to the top of the tower.  Take in the spectacular views across the city and over the Cathedral’s Christmas Market and Ice Rink.  Christmas Tower Tour Tickets: £8.50 includes a cup of tea/coffee and a mince pie in the Cathedral Refectory. Twilight Tour Tickets: £13.50 includes mulled wine and a mince pie in the historic Undercroft.  Contact The Cathedral Box Office on 01962 857275 or visit www.winchester-cathedral.org.uk

Waynflete Singers 40th Anniversary Concert
HANDEL: Messiah
The Cathedral
11 December, 7.30pm
Handel’s timeless oratorio is performed to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Waynflete Singers.  This magnificent choral work, from Handel at the peak of his powers, is a perennial favourite of audiences, singers and musicians everywhere.  Tickets: £39, £29, £19, £10 from the Cathedral Box Office on 01962 857275 or visit www.winchester-cathedral.org.uk

The Lord Lieutenant’s Carol Concert
The Cathedral
17 December, 7pm
Presented by Alan Titchmarsh and featuring Winchester Cathedral Choirs, this wonderful concert includes a programme of popular carols and readings.  Tickets: £25, £20, £15, £10 from the Cathedral Box Office on 01962 857275 or visit www.winchester-cathedral.org.uk

Concert: Britten’s Ceremony of Carols
The Cathedral
22 December, 1pm.
Sung by the Cathedral’s boy and girl choristers.  No booking necessary, retiring collection.  For more information contact the Cathedral Office on 01962 857200

Viennese Gala Concert
The Cathedral
31 December, 7pm
Welcome in the New Year with wonderful performances from Southern Symphonia and international opera singers Stephen Rutter and Claire Gadd, Conducted by Malcolm Woods.  Tickets available from the Cathedral Box Office on 01962 857275 or visit www.winchester-cathedral.org.uk.

Winchester Cathedral Press Office
01962 857 217 / 07968 549 628