This year’s festive theme is ‘Follow the Star: The Great Invitation’ – and Bradford Cathedral would like to invite you to visit this December

This year’s theme for Advent and Christmas at Bradford Cathedral is ‘Follow The Star: The Great Invitation’ – and you are invited to visit the Cathedral this December for events and services, or to discover more about the historic space.

Advent begins this Sunday – 27th November – and the season starts with the switching on of the Cathedral’s ‘Star in the Tower’, which this year is also joined by the State Gate light curtain, supported by Bradford BID.

The Cathedral will also be decorated with a Christmas tree in the West End, lit up in the seasonal colour of purple, and there will also be two cribs within the State Gate and the Holy Spirit Chapel.

Services and Events

There are many events and services happening which you are invited to attend. Alongside the regular services there is the Advent Procession (27th November), Nine Lessons and Carols (23rd December), the Midnight Eucharist (24th December), and the Christmas Day Eucharist.

For families, there is the return of the popular Christingle service on the 11th December, and the Messy Crib on Christmas Eve.

There are also lots of services coming up in conjunction with partners across the City and District, including Marie Curie’s ‘Lights to Remember’ (5th December), the Bradford District and Craven Health and Care Partnership – Christmas Carol Service (8th December), The Rotary Club of Bradford 100th Anniversary Carol Service (15th December), and the City Carol Service with Bradford Council (19th December), which takes place on the 125th anniversary year of Bradford becoming a city.

Musically, there is the Black Dyke Band and Bradford Cathedral Choir Christmas Concert (10th December – now sold out) and the very popular Christmas Eve Carol Concert.

There are also many other events, such as the annual festive-themed Monday Fellowship gathering and the final dates in the Wednesday@One Organ recital season, which include the Christmas Organ Spectacular by Edward Byrne on the 14th December and a Christmas organ meditation featuring Philip Moore’s Nativitas on Wednesday 21st December, by Anthony Gray.

The Bradford Cathedral Choir will also be singing at half-time at the Bradford City vs Rochdale match at Valley Parade on Saturday 17th December.

Full details of all these events can be found on the Bradford Cathedral website, across the Cathedral’s social media or by picking up a copy of the current what’s on booklet.

A Message from the Dean

The Very Revd Andy Bowerman, Dean of Bradford, says:
“This Advent and Christmas season – like many across the Church of England – we are inviting you to follow the star, and offering you the Great Invitation – perhaps the greatest invitation there’s ever been: to follow the star to the heart of the Christmas story, just like those wise people many centuries ago.

“Whether it’s for a concert or carols or just to come and find a space amongst the busyness – to take some time for yourself – we invite you to come here to this ancient, sacred space, to come and experience something of what it means to be invited.

“We look forward to seeing you at some point during the next few weeks.”

Online Activities

There is also plenty to see online as well: there are themed school resources for the season; the Bradvent Calendar videos from previous years on the Cathedral’s YouTube channel – with many craft activities, choir performances and much more to watch and take part in – and streamed online services. There will also be a #FestivePhotoADay on Instagram.

A festive message from the Dean of Bradford will also launch online on the first day of Advent, including some exciting highlights of what you can see in the Cathedral this December, with more content appearing over the month.

You can also follow the adventures of the Cathedral elves Charlie and Ann once again on social media. Bradford at Night and Bradford Cathedral have teamed up for ‘Where are the Elves?’ running from the 27th November to Christmas Eve.

The Cathedral’s Chorister elves have been out and about in the city, and photos of their adventures will appear on social media during Advent and Christmas: we’ll be following them on their journey as they explore Bradford City Centre with the Bradford at Night members and many other places – and you can get involved!

You can see where they are – and tell us your favourite scene – by using #CathedralElf and tagging @BfdCathedral and @BFDatNight for the chance to win a £50 Night Out Gift Card.

Finally, the 2022 design of the Bradford Cathedral Christmas Card is available to buy in the shop or online.

Follow the Star: The Great Invitation

So, we’d like to invite you this Advent and Christmas to Bradford Cathedral – to visit, for services, for events or for a space to reflect. Look out for our Star in the Tower to direct you here – and head up through our State Gate, lit up for the season!

Bradford BID manager Jonny Noble says:
“Bradford Cathedral is an integral part of the city centre life and community and never more so than at Christmas.

“The BID is proud to be able to support the State Gate light curtain as part of the Christmas lights this year and to help our Cathedral’s work in reminding people who live, work, shop and enjoy their leisure in the city centre what the festive season is really all about.”

Elizabeth Murphy, Bradford BID Evening and Night Time Economy Co-ordinator, says:
“The Cathedral is a staple part of Bradford city centre and a valued Bradford at Night member. We’re so excited to partner up this year. It’s a brilliant opportunity to showcase what Bradford has to offer this Advent, from family-friendly to cultural offers in our Bradford at Night Venues. Follow us on your journey around Bradford exploring our safe, diverse city.”

You can find out more about all the events and services happening in December by visiting, calling the Cathedral office on 01274 77 77 20 or visiting the Cathedral during its daily opening hours. You can also find our opening times over the Christmas holiday on the website.

Full list of extra events and services – with times

• Sunday 27th November, 6pm – Advent Procession
• Wednesday 30th November, 1pm – Wednesday@One Organ Recital: Angela Sones (Lichfield)
• Monday 5th December, 7pm – Marie Curie Lights to Remember
• Wednesday 7th December, 1pm – Wednesday@One Organ Recital: Katelyn Emerson (Cambridge)
• Thursday 8th December, 6pm – Bradford District and Craven Health and Care Partnership – Christmas Carol Service
• Saturday 10th December, 7pm – Black Dyke Band and Bradford Cathedral Choir Christmas Concert (Sold Out)
• Sunday 11th December, 3:30pm – Christingle
• Monday 12th December, 2pm – Monday Fellowship
• Wednesday 14th December, 1pm – Wednesday@One Christmas Organ Spectacular: Edward Byrne
• Thursday 15th December, 6pm – The Rotary Club of Bradford 100th Anniversary Carol Service
• Saturday 17th December, half-time – Bradford Cathedral Choir sing at Valley Parade
• Monday 19th December, 6pm – The City Carol Service
• Wednesday 21st December, 1pm – Christmas Organ Meditation: Anthony Gray (Harrogate)
• Friday 23rd December, 6pm – Nine lessons and carols
• Saturday 24th December, 1pm, 4pm, 11:30pm – Christmas Eve Carol Concert; Messy Crib; Midnight Eucharist
• Sunday 25th December, 10:30am – Christmas Day Eucharist

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