Southwell Minster extends a warm welcome to their Christmas services, celebrating with the theme of: ‘The light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it.’ John 1:5.
The first service to launch the Christmas season was a traditional family advent favourite, on Sunday 6th December; the 5.00pm Christingle Service. This beautiful candlelit service featured songs and carols and stories and the giving of a Christingle orange to every single child, and most of the grown-ups too. The service raised money for the Children’s Society, which works with some of the most vulnerable children in this country who have been bullied, abused, neglected and sexually exploited.
Acting Dean, Canon Nigel Coates says: “Do join us this Christmas at Southwell Minster to celebrate the mystery of God’s love in the face of a child.”
Forthcoming services and events are: Friday 11th December at 12.15pm – A Ceremony of Carols – Benjamin Britten (free entry) with The Minster Girls’ Choir and harpist Roisin Hickey.
Saturday 19th December – 7.30pm Carols for Everyone Concert. A community carol concert put on by Southwell and District Lions’ Club in support of Uganda Christian Institute for Professional Development Agricultural School (tickets required*).
Sunday 20th December – 6.30pm – La Nativité du Seigneur – Olivier Messiaen (free entry). Simon Hogan (organ) Assistant Director of Music, playing Messiaen’s nine-movement masterpiece, with meditations by Canon Jacqui Jones.
Wednesday 23rd December -7.00pm – Cathedral Carol Service I – A service of music, readings and carols.
On Christmas Eve -Thursday 24th December – 11.00am & 2.00pm Crib Services – Young children are welcome to dress in Nativity costumes (some are available on the day in the Minster); 3.30pm Festal Evensong. Fr Matthew Askey says: “The Crib Services are very informal, great fun, and are for families and children. We act out a Nativity play (with the lead actors being students and ex-students from the Minster school), the children get involved too and we have music from the organ (11am) and the Folk Group (2pm). The service ends with the Dean blessing the Christmas Crib and refreshments.” Led by Fr Matthew Askey and Rev’d Prof Alison Milbank. Each lasts about bout 30 mins or so.
This year’s Nativity crib for the cathedral has been made by students from the Junior Department and Special Educational Needs Department of the Minster School, Southwell, and Huthwaite & Selston Church of England Infants School. Father Matthew Askey, Minster Chaplain, brought together over a hundred children to make a colourful origami version of the famous stable gathering, which is in the crossing of the Minster. A traditional service marking the end of Advent sung by the Cathedral Choir
At 7.00pm – Cathedral Carol Service II – A service of music, readings and carols; 11.15pm Midnight Mass – Bishop Paul Williams will be presiding.
Christmas Day – Friday 25th December: 8.00am Holy Communion with Carols; 9.30am Family Eucharist. Preacher: Bishop Paul Williams; 11.15am Festal Mattins; 12.30pm Holy Communion; 3.30pm Evening Prayer with Carols.
Wednesday 6th January – 8.00pm – Sung Eucharist for the Epiphany of Our Lord. Sung by the Minster Chorale. Preacher: The Very Revd Dr John Moses.
*The Cathedral Shop serves as the Box Office for Minster and local concerts.
Tel: 01636 812933 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Details of all other Services and Concerts throughout December are listed on the Minster website www.southwellminster.org/concerts-and-events-2.html
Wednesday 9th December Lowe’s Wong Carol Concert at 7.00pm.
Thursday 10th December Ex-Cathedra Consort – 7.30pm – Christmas will come early for those lucky enough to hear the brilliant choir Ex Cathedra. Their captivating programme of seasonal music from 13th to 18th century Europe and Latin America will include Christmas music researched in Mexico and Bolivia by artistic director, Jeffrey Skidmore OBE. He says: “It combines the most tender melodies with unforgettable toe-tapping rhythm and gives us a completely fresh view of the joy of Christmas.
The concert also includes music by Bach, Victoria and Weelkes, favourites like the Coventry Carol, and a selection of readings.
11 Dec -7pm – Lord-Lieutenant’s Carol Service.
Saturday 12th December Cantamus Girls’ Choir Heralding Christmas Concert – 7.30pm – A variety of Christmas music performed by Cantamus Girls’ Choir & Training Choir. Director Ann Irons.
Monday 14th December – Minster School Christmas Concert at 7.00pm –
An evening of festive performances from ensembles including Senior Orchestra, Chamber Choir and String Group, among many others.
16 Dec – 7.30pm – Joint Emergency Services Carol Service. Members, their families and the general public are all welcome. Uniform may be worn.
Photograph © Mark Lee