Advent and Christmas

Advent and Christmas at Wells Cathedral


Each year, Wells Cathedral plays host to many additional services and events to mark this most holy time in the Christian calendar. There is something for everyone this Advent and Christmas, and all are warmly invited to join in the festivities as we celebrate the season together.

December

Discount Wednesdays
Wednesdays in December (6, 13, 20), 10.00 a.m.–4.30 p.m.

Continuing our tradition of discount Wednesdays in the run up to Christmas, enjoy 10% off everything in the shop on Wednesdays, including our hand-crafted decorations and locally-sourced gifts. Merry Christmas!

Wells Cathedral Shop Christmas

Advent Procession with Carols
Sunday 3 December, 5.00 p.m.

Join us for a service of readings, traditional congregational Advent carols, and music for Advent, including works by Jonathan Dove, John Rutter, Judith Bingham, and more.

Admission: FREE (no booking required); retiring collection in aid of Wells Cathedral; please be seated by 4.45 p.m.

Wells Theatre Company: A Christmas Carol
Saturday 9 and 16 December, 1.00 p.m./3.00 p.m.

An illuminated costumed reading of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol with live music, performed by Wells Theatre Company in the medieval Vicars’ Hall, Undercroft, and Chapter House.

Admission: FREE; in aid of Wells Cathedral; register in advance via wellscathedral.org.uk/events

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Handel’s Messiah
Saturday 9 December, 7.00 p.m.

Wells Cathedral Oratorio Society; Music for Awhile orchestra; Maggie Faultless, leader; Mhairi Lawson, soprano; Stephen Harvey, countertenor; James Oxley, tenor; Nicholas Mogg, bass; Alexander Hamilton, conductor

Hallelujah! Join WCOS for their annual performance of Handel’s magnificent Messiah — one of the best known and most loved choral works of all time.

Admission: £17–£34; via wellscathedral.org.uk/events

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Somerset County Schools’ Celebration
Monday 11 December, 7.00 p.m.

A Christmas celebration with performances from Somerset County Orchestra and school children from across the county.

Admission: £6.50-£12.50 + booking fee

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AGE UK Somerset: A Celebration of Christmas
Wednesday 13 December, 11.00 a.m.

Celebrating AGE UK Somerset’s 75th Anniversary, this free event for all ages includes Christmas readings and sing-along carols led by the Taunton Deane Male Voice Choir, and a debut performance by the charity’s own volunteer ‘Choir of Angels’.

Admission: FREE (no booking required); retiring collection in aid of AGE UK Somerset

Women’s Institute Carol Service
Wednesday 13 December, 2.30 p.m.

The highlight of the WI year, with singers, readers, and friends of the Somerset County Federation of Women’s Institutes.

Admission by programme (some available on the door); in aid of SCFWI and Wells Cathedral

Vivaldi’s Four Seasons at Christmas
Friday 15 December, 7.30 p.m.

Piccadilly Sinfonietta; Matthew Jones, violin

Enjoy an outstanding musical evening in the run-up to Christmas with a performance of Vivaldi’s timeless classic, Four Seasons, in a spectacular candlelit Cathedral.

Admission: £19–£42 + booking; via piccadillysinfonia.com

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London Concertante: Christmas at the Movies
Sunday 17 December, 7.30 p.m.

Join us as we embark on a jolly journey through the heart-warming and hilarious worlds of beloved Christmas films, including Home Alone, Love Actually, and many more!

Admission: £19–£45 + booking; via londonconcertante.com

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Family Holiday Activities: Christmas Crafts
Monday 18–Wednesday 20 December, 10.00 a.m./11.15 a.m./2.00 p.m.

Follow our Christmas trail around the Cathedral, then join us to create seasonal crafts to take home! Morning and afternoon sessions on 18, 19, and 20 December, with the trail available throughout Advent.

Admission: £1.10–£2.15; via wellscathedral.org.uk/events

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Carols by Candlelight
Tuesday 19–Thursday 21 December, 7.00 p.m.

Wells Cathedral Choir; Alexander Hamilton, conductor; Richard Pinel, organ; with special guest George Toone, reader

The highlight of the Wells year, enjoy a feast of Christmas carols, festive favourites, and seasonal stories in the magical surroundings of Wells Cathedral lit by thousands of candles.

Admission: £14-£54; via wellscathedral.org.uk/events; pre-concert dinner available in the award-winning Cathedral Café, The Loft

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Carols by Candlelight

Crib Services
Saturday 23 December, 2.00 p.m./3.15 p.m.

Perfect for children and families. Children are invited to dress up for this fun service — come dressed as a shepherd, an angel, a wise man, or even a super hero!

Admission: FREE (no booking required); retiring collection in aid of Wells Cathedral

Cathedral Carol Service
Saturday 23 December, 6.00 p.m.

Join us for a traditional carol service led by the Cathedral Choir with congregational carols and readings telling the Christmas story.

Admission: FREE (no booking required); retiring collection in aid of Wells Cathedral; please be seated by 5.45 p.m.

Christmas Eve
Sunday 24 December,

5.15 p.m. Carols at the Crib: Experience an atmospheric service on Christmas Eve culminating in the Procession to the Crib, with seasonal music sung by the Cathedral Choir.

Admission: FREE (no booking required); retiring collection in aid of Wells Cathedral

11.00 p.m. Eucharist of Christmas Night: Begin the festive season with a candlelit celebration in the darkness of Christmas night, with music sung by the Vicars Choral and Schola Cantorum.

Admission: FREE (no booking required); retiring collection in aid of Wells Cathedral

Christmas at Wells Cathedral - Chorister

Christmas Day
Monday 25 December

9.30 a.m. Eucharist of Christmas Day: Join us for a festive morning service on Christmas Day with familiar carols sung by the Cathedral Choir.

Admission: FREE (no booking required); retiring collection in aid of Wells Cathedral

11.30 a.m. Choral Matins: Join us for a traditional morning service with joyous music sung by the Cathedral Choir.

Admission: FREE (no booking required); retiring collection in aid of Wells Cathedral

Wells Cathedral nativity scene

January

Festal Eucharist for the Feast of the Epiphany
Saturday 6 January, 5.15 p.m.

Celebrating the arrival of the three kings to Bethlehem, join us for an atmospheric service in the Quire, sung by Wells Cathedral Chamber Choir.

Admission: FREE (no booking required); retiring collection in aid of Wells Cathedral

Promenade Concerts
January–February 2024

Experience glorious music while moving around the open spaces of Wells Cathedral, cleared of chairs.

More details soon at wellscathedral.org.uk/events

Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols
Saturday 3 February, 1.05 p.m.

The Choristers of Wells Cathedral
Ruth Faber, harp; Alexander Hamilton, conductor

Experience this ever-popular and inspiring arrangement of medieval carols for children’s voices and harp, in the beautiful setting of Wells Cathedral. Admission by Donation (suggested: £5–£10); seats reserved via wcct.co.uk; in aid of Wells Cathedral Chorister Trust

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