Round-up of Christmas events at Ripon Cathedral

The Dean of Ripon, the Very Rev John Dobson.
The Dean of Ripon, the Very Rev John Dobson.

Ripon Cathedral is gearing up to welcome hundreds of visitors for its busy programme of Christmas events and services.

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Following hot on the heels of its packed season of Remembrance, Ripon Cathedral will host concerts, theatrical performances, and special commemorative services to kickstart their festivities.

Excitement is already building for the popular Advent service and procession on Sunday - at 10.30am the first candle will be lit on the Advent wreath, marking the start of the countdown to Christmas, and the Advent procession will take place at 5.30pm with carols performed by the Ripon Cathedral Choir.

Ripon ready for spectacular carol concert with more than 250 schoolchildren taking part
The Dean of Ripon, the Very Rev John Dobson, said: “Advent is all about preparing to celebrate the coming of Christ both in his birth in Bethlehem and in the future when he returns to put the world to rights.

“Our spiritual preparation through these busy weeks of December can also help us to recognise Christ’s presence in our lives today and the ways in which he already reigns in our world.”

Other highlights of the Cathedral’s festive calendar include The Story of Christmas with Carols, a production narrated by Emmerdale actor Chris Chittell. Last year’s performance was a sell-out, and this year’s version is also going down a storm.

Readers can go and watch the show this Saturday, it starts at 7.30pm. The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols returns to Ripon Cathedral on December 23 and 24 at 5.30pm, and hundreds are expected to attend to enjoy Christmas readings and carols.

The evening will include performances from the Ashville Singers, the most senior of five Ashville College Choirs, and the Ripon Cathedral Choir, directed by Andrew Bryden. Mince pies and mulled wine will be served during the interval.

The Dean said: “I look forward to welcoming you and your family to what promises to be a wonderful evening of entertainment.

The proceeds from the concert will further the efforts of the Ripon Cathedral Music Trust, a charity dedicated to supporting the music of Ripon Cathedral.”

There will be plenty of opportunities for the audience to sing along to some popular carols including, We Three Kings and O’ Little Town of Bethlehem.

Tickets for the Story of Christmas can be purchased at Ripon Cathedral gift shop, online or on the door.

Midnight mass starts at 11pm on Christmas Eve, which includes the blessing of the crib, and this year’s Christmas Day service is at 10.30am.

Email finola.fitzpatrick@JPIMedia.co.uk to share your Ripon news, or call the Ripon Gazette news desk on 01423 707505.