This year’s festive theme is ‘Follow the Star: Join The Song’ – and Bradford Cathedral would like to welcome you in this December

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

Advent begins on Sunday 3rd December – and the season starts with the switching on of the Cathedral’s ‘Star in the Tower’, which is joined for the second year 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 by candles during many of the services, 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 (the Sunday Eucharist is also streamed online) there is the Advent Procession (3rd December), Nine Lessons and Carols (17th December), the Midnight Eucharist (24th December), and the Christmas Day Eucharist.

For families, there is the return of the popular Messy Crib service on Christmas Eve, and there will be ‘An International Christmas’, featuring music and readings from Ukrainian, Nigerian, Congolese, Indian and Sudanese communities based in- and around- Bradford, at 7pm on Saturday 23rd December.

Musically, there is the second ‘Black Dyke Band and Bradford Cathedral Choir Christmas Concert’ (Saturday 9th December – limited tickets available), a collaboration with the Royal Opera House – ‘Songs for Ukraine Chorus’ – on Sunday 10th December, and the very popular Annual Lunchtime Carol Concert, this year taking place on Saturday 23rd December.

The organ recital season also concludes with a Christmas Spectacular on Wednesday 13th December at 1pm, and a Christmas Meditation a week later.

There are also lots of services and events coming up in conjunction with partners across the City and District, including ‘Bradford Stitch & Glitch – Pipe Up’ with the Women’s Sound Network (2nd December); Bradford District & Craven Health & Care Partnership – Christmas Carol Service (14th December); and The City Carol Service (18th December).

There are also many other events, such as the annual festive-themed Monday Fellowship gathering, and the Choir will be singing at the Bradford Royal Infirmary and The Corn Dolly during the season of Advent.

Full details of all these events can be found on the Bradford Cathedral website, across the Cathedral’s social media or by picking up the new flyer, which is available at the Cathedral, Visit Bradford, The Broadway Bradford, City Hall, Bradford Libraries and other places around the City.

A Message from the Dean

“I want to extend you a warm welcome to our Advent and Christmas services and events during the coming weeks.

“As ever, you’ll be able to Follow Our Star on top of the tower and find your way to this hidden treasure at the heart of the city.

“Throughout the Advent season there’ll be all sorts of exciting opportunities for you to come and not just engage in worship but explore the Cathedral and join in some of our many events. There’ll be carol services, there’ll be mince pies and mulled wine; all sorts of ways that we want to generously welcome you into your Cathedral at the heart of this city.”

Online Activities

Alongside the events and services taking place in the Cathedral, there is plenty to find online: there are themed school resources for the season; Bradford Cathedral will feature as part of the Association of English Cathedral’s festive campaign; and there will be a special recording of ‘The First Nowell’, written by acclaimed composer Bob Chilcott, by the Bradford Cathedral Consort. This composition is the centrepiece of this year’s Church of England Christmas focus.

Look out online as well for a daily organ piece as part of our ‘Organ Advent Calendar’.

As well as these there will be daily religious reflections; 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 a #FestivePhotoADay on the Cathedral’s Instagram account.

Be More Environmentally Friendly

One new addition this year is the Bradford Cathedral eCard. You can head to the Cathedral’s website to send an online Christmas card to your friends and family, helping the environment by reducing the number of physical cards you send out.

Of course, you can also buy copies of the Bradford Cathedral Christmas Card in the shop or online – though stocks are limited! And if you’re buying items online this year, find out how you can support the Cathedral with every purchase through the easyfundraising website.

Follow the Star: Join the Song

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!

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, visiting the Cathedral during its daily opening hours, or picking up a flyer. You can also find our opening times over the Christmas holiday on the website.

Full list of extra events and services – with times

  • Sunday 3rd December, 6pm
    Advent Procession
  • Wednesday 6th December, 1pm
    Wednesday@One Organ Recital: Hannah Parry (London)
  • Saturday 9th December, 7pm
    Black Dyke Band and Bradford Cathedral Choir Christmas Concert
    (Limited tickets)
  • Sunday 10th December, 3pm
    Royal Opera House: Songs for Ukraine Chorus
  • Monday 11th December, 2pm
    Monday Fellowship
  • Wednesday 13th December, 1pm
    Wednesday@One Christmas Organ Spectacular: George Inscoe (Croydon)
  • Thursday 14th December, 6pm
    Bradford District and Craven Health and Care Partnership – Christmas Carol Service
  • Sunday 17th December, 6pm
    Nine lessons and carols
  • Monday 18th December, 6pm
    The City Carol Service
  • Wednesday 20th December, 1pm
    Christmas Organ Meditation
  • Saturday 23rd December, 1pm
    Annual Lunchtime Carol Concert
  • Saturday 23rd December, 6pm
    An International Christmas
  • Sunday 24th December, 3pm
    Messy Cathedral Crib Service
  • Sunday 24th December, 11pm
    Midnight Eucharist
  • Monday 25th December, 10:30am
    Christmas Day Eucharist
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