The first weekend in December was a record-breaking one for Chester Cathedral – thanks to a busy launch day for their spectacular The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe exhibition.
The launch event, which drew more than 4000 visitors over two days, featured live reindeer, a falconry display and Narnia characters including the White Witch and Mr Tumnus.
This Christmas, Chester Cathedral will take visitors on an exciting journey to the magical land of Narnia, transforming spaces within its magnificent building to bring C.S. Lewis’s classic tale The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe to life.
In a first for the cathedral, visitors during the Christmas period can follow an exhibition trail, through fur coats and wardrobes via a winter palace, to the magical land of Narnia.
The exhibition will include the houses of Mr. Tumnus and the beavers in the cathedral’s medieval Chapter House, the palace of the White Witch in the Refectory Café and a wartime evacuation scene, including a 1940s station platform, in the Undercroft.
The idea for the exhibition was developed by the cathedral’s education department and more than 1000 school pupils from across Chester and Cheshire will visit the building for Narnia-inspired education workshops throughout December.
Education Officer, Helen Barber, said:
“We are thrilled to present The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe exhibition this December. The story and the characters are well-loved and have captured the imagination of generation after generation.
C. S. Lewis was a Christian and strong overtones of Christian teaching can be recognised in Narnia. We have tried to reflect this by using extracts from the story at each scene and adding an appropriate quotation from the Bible which helps to explain the Christian message.”
Vice Dean, Canon Peter Howell-Jones, said:
“The exhibition really does have something for everyone – from snarling wolves in the snow and comical beavers in their cosy home to a magnificent life-size animatronic Aslan!
We very much hope people will enjoy it and look forward to welcoming them into our building during this very special time of the year.”
The exhibition is free of charge and will run from 29 November 2014 until 6 January 2015.
Chester Cathedral has a packed schedule for Advent and Christmas this year, with something for everyone.
The Chester Cathedral Christmas Tree Festival is back for a second year – and is set to be bigger and better than before. The festival will feature more than 45 majestic Christmas trees, transforming the cathedral cloisters into astonishing tree-lined winter walkways. The festival is a community-focused event and will include trees decorated by local schools and local businesses from across Chester and Cheshire.
Services will run throughout November and December and will include an Advent procession by candlelight on 30 November and a crib service for families on Christmas Eve. The Chester Cathedral Choir will perform their ever-popular annual carol concert on 20 December, with seasonal readings and special guests, Inspired Brass.
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