Home for Advent – Leicester Cathedral and John Lewis share a sofa!

Leicester Cathedral and the city’s branch of John Lewis have worked together to create an unusual installation in the cathedral in the run up to Christmas.

Visitors to the Cathedral are being invited to think afresh as everyone looks towards Christmas.  John Lewis have installed a living room in part of the Cathedral, complete with comfy chairs, television, cushions and rugs.

The installation includes a film playing on the living room’s TV with video clips made by the Cathedral community and giving voice to how different people understand the word ‘home’, including how they can feel at home in the cathedral as part of its diverse community.

Visitors are invited to think about home and to consider about what makes a home, and to remember those with no homes or those far away from home, some in exile or danger.  At Christmas the church celebrates in the birth of a baby in Bethlehem that God made his home with us – a home in a stable.

People are invited to come and see and to write a message, on a gift label with a thought or a prayer and to add it to the installation so that we create together a richer sense of home at the spiritual heart of the community in the coming weeks.


For the eagle-eyed visitor, the installation even features the John Lewis Christmas advert character Moz the monster.

The Dean of Leicester, The Very Revd David Monteith, said: “Home matters to all of us. We are delighted to invite others to experience a little glimpse of home and to ask if God might be part of our sense of home.

“We are very glad to be working with our neighbours from John Lewis whose business helps many people create their own sense of home. Together we help make Leicester a place we can be proud to call home.”

Gary Rowntree, Head of Branch at John Lewis Leicester, said: “We were asked by the Dean of Leicester if we would like to create an installation for the festive period.  The brief was to come up with an interactive display “home”, which visitors to the Cathedral could engage with.

“Our Visual Merchandising team took their inspiration from Scandinavia starting with a structure that could be a house, barn or stable.  We wanted to create something natural and cosy, a home you might stumble across whilst taking a winter woodland walk.

“The inspiration for the message tags came from the gesture of leaving messages to loved ones on padlocks attached to bridges.  We are inviting visitors to attach tags to the sides of the house, which in time, will gradually create the walls, helping to build a home with messages and memories of love and joy and in turn helping to bring our community closer together.”

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