Bradford Cathedral will be helping to bring comfort and joy to those living in the city, and further afield, as it launches its Advent and Christmas programme including services, events, and a daily video every day in December, as part of its online #BradventCalendar.
‘Comfort and Joy’ is this year’s Church of England theme and will be reflected in the cathedral’s activities this December.
Comfort and Joy holds together the hope that Christmas will bring joy and celebration after a uniquely difficult year with an acknowledgement that – for those who have lost loved ones or livelihoods, or who are potentially still not able to be together with loved ones – it may be the Church’s role, both nationally and locally, to provide consolation, rather than assume everyone will be ready to join in jubilation.
The season of Advent begins on Sunday 29th November and will see the switch-on of the cathedral’s ‘Star in the Tower’, which made its first appearance in 2019, alongside two services, the Advent Sunday Eucharist, and an Advent Carol Service.
The ‘Star in the Tower’ will serve as a beacon to those in the city looking for comfort and joy as 2020 nears its end, and will welcome those who would like to visit for personal prayer during the cathedral’s opening hours*.
Services, events and activities will take place throughout the month. A full listing of everything planned is available on the Bradford Cathedral website and social media. Most services taking place will be streamed online for anyone to watch wherever they are.
There will also be a few extra activities launching in the run-up to the season of Advent, including a special video on Sunday 22nd December to mark ‘Stir-Up Sunday’, the day when the Christmas pudding is traditionally ‘stirred up’, which will include a series of local faces and members of the cathedral team and congregation, as well as a surprise famous face or two!
There will also be the opportunity for you to create your own lantern to help bring some light into the darker weeks of December, as well as videos revealing the meaning behind the Advent wreath and all about the ‘Star in the Tower’.
Starting on Monday 1st December, Bradford Cathedral will be launching its daily #BradventCalendar, with a specially created video launching on its YouTube channel, Facebook page and website each day.
These 24 videos will cover a whole range of things, from reflections to music, craft activities to poetry reading, how to make your own Christingle, and even tips from across the District about how you can live a more environmentally friendly Christmas. There are more surprises and some famous faces to be revealed!
Services and Events
Alongside the weekly Sunday Eucharist streamed live from Bradford Cathedral, there are many events planned to be held throughout the month, with others to be announced. These include two music recitals, several ‘Carols and Readings’ services and the return of the popular ‘Carol Recital’ on Christmas Eve. There will also be a talk about Advent from the Very Revd Jerry Lepine, Dean of Bradford, and other collaborations with groups across the city.
Alongside the #BradventCalendar, services and events, Bradford Cathedral will be offering a ‘Memory Tree’ in the cathedral onto which you’ll be able to add your thoughts, memories or prayers; the return of the cathedral crib; and there will be a special online Christmas Service for Schools.
There are also other activities to engage with online, including the Diocese of Leeds’ newly released ‘Rhythm of Life’ resources, designed to encourage children, young people and families to explore praying, encouraging, sharing, reflecting, celebrating, resting and creating; as well as an ‘Advent Book Study Course’.
We are encouraging as many people as possible to get involved with our activities, which can be found on the Bradford Cathedral website and social media, and we’d love to see you share your thoughts online, or photos of your completed activities, using #BradventCalendar, #ComfortAndJoy and #SparklingBradford.
The Revd Canon Mandy Coutts, Canon for Mission and Pastoral Development says:
“This season, Bradford Cathedral is going to celebrate the twin themes of comfort and joy. Christmas is always a time of joy and celebration, and here we like to do that in style.
“But it’s also been a perplexing and troubling year; a year in which we’ve needed comfort more than ever.
“And so this year we also seek to bring comfort to those in need; those who are feeling the sadness of this time, and of the circumstances.
“So here at Bradford Cathedral, we will be bringing comfort and joy in equal measure this coming month.”
You can find out more about Advent and Christmas at Bradford Cathedral at https://www.bradfordcathedral.org/whats-on/advent-christmas.
For more on the Church of England’s ‘Comfort and Joy’ plans head to https://www.churchofengland.org
*Our opening hours are currently Wednesday – Saturday 2-4pm, Sunday 1-3pm. These may be subject to change. Please visit our website for the latest visiting information.