Celebrating Christmas at Lichfield Cathedral
27th October 2020
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The Very Revd Adrian Dorber, Dean of Lichfield explains how the Cathedral is having to rethink its Christmas plans: “Undoubtedly, Advent and Christmas are going to be quite different in 2020. Whatever happens between now and 25 December in terms of public health and national policy, we’re reimagining a plan for Advent and Christmas with great ingenuity. Christmas is such an important moment in the Christian calendar that we will find ways to bring the atmosphere and spirit of the season to the community we serve.” 

Alongside a programme of services in the lead up to Christmas, Lichfield Cathedral will be hosting the award-winning The Cathedral Illuminated in a different format to create an enjoyable and COVID-secure experience for everyone. 

‘The Cathedral Illuminated 2020: The Manger’ will be taking place from 16-22 December, with special earlier showings from 17:00 on into the evening. This year the event will be completely outside, with a safe one-way route created around the Close and significantly reduced number of time slots per evening. The spectacular light and sound show will be viewed facing the front of the Cathedral, where there is ample room for people to enjoy the show whilst remaining safe and socially distanced from other households. 

“Christmas wouldn’t be the same in Lichfield without The Cathedral Illuminated. Families from far and wide have made it part of their Christmas tradition, and we felt it was important to rework the illuminations for our current situation,” explains Peter Walker, part of the artistic collaboration Luxmuralis that creates the light and sound show. “We have been working closely with the Cathedral over the last few months to create a truly festive experience that is safe for people to attend. We have incorporated some really beautiful imagery into the projection on the front of the Cathedral to create a special moment for everyone who visits.” 

To mark the 150th anniversary of Charles Dickens’ The Christmas Carol, a special piece has been created in collaboration with the Dickens Museum London to kick off the illuminations. Following this there will be a light and sound celebration of everything Christmassy - trees, presents, carols, lights and Santa. The grand finale to the Cathedral Illuminated will be a visual re-telling of the Christmas story, using footage of the inside of the Cathedral as a backdrop to the story. It is set to be a joyous event to add to our calendars. 

This year’s Cathedral Illuminated is made possible in part by the support of Richard Winterton Auctioneers. Richard Winterton expresses his delight at sponsoring such an important event in the Lichfield calendar: “Each year The Cathedral Illuminated brings so much joy and festive cheer to the city and we fervently hope that this year it will also serve as a beacon of light to a brighter future built on the joy of Christmas.”

Lichfield Cathedral is also pleased to announce a partnership with St Pauls Cathedral in Minnesota, USA. Many will remember Minnesota for events earlier in the year, being at the forefront of the Black Lives Matter movement following the tragic death of George Floyd in May 2020. St Pauls Cathedral in Minnesota will be projecting parts of the Cathedral Illuminated show onto their own building during the first 3 days of the illuminations in Lichfield – a truly unique International display of solidarity. 

The Cathedral Illuminated will run from 16-22 December 2020, with timed tickets from 17:00 into the evening. Tickets are £5.50 for adults, £4 for children (under 5s are free) and £16 for a family.

Tickets for the Cathedral Illuminated are available to book right here. Lichfield Cathedral was awarded the ‘Good to Go’ trade mark in July due to its compliance and implementation of COVID-secure measures.

For more information on Advent & Christmas at Lichfield Cathedral visit: or sign up for the Cathedral’s newsletter to get the information in advance, including priority booking for events.

The Cathedral Illuminated by Luxmuralis has won the What’s On Best Event in Staffordshire 4 years running.





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Louie C

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