Advent and Christmas 2019

Entertaining Angels


For most people Christmas is a time of immense busyness and the Cathedral is no exemption. From the beginning of December there will be a procession of carol services, concerts and other events as different groups join us to mark this great celebration. I hope you will be able to make space for some of the different things talked about in this booklet.

As well as being busy we will have all our regular congregations and visitors. Some will be looking for comfort at what can be a difficult time of the year. Others will be wanting some space and stillness from the hectic schedule they can find ourselves in. Please pray that the people that come into the Cathedral will find God’s presence and peace and I pray that you too may find the peace of the Christ child this season.

Finally, in thinking for a theme this year I was struck by how angels play a key part in the story. From the announcement to Mary to the warning to Joseph to flee to Egypt. In fact angels turn up all over the place in scripture and many times it is ambiguous as to who or what is being described. They can be ‘God’; they can be divine beings created by God; they can be human beings speaking on behalf of God. I think it is purposely vague so that we don’t get hung up on the detail but hear whatever is the message they are conveying. During Advent, we will be having a teaching series on angels on the Sunday mornings as we seek to hear God as a cathedral. Please pray that, as we approach 2020 and all that will entail with our building project and even moving out of the building, we will stay tuned into what God is saying and doing that we might continue to build the kingdom.

May you have a blessed Advent and Christmas and do not forget the challenging words of Hebrews 13.2:

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it!
The Revd Canon Paul Rattigan Canon Chancellor

With thanks to the Friends of Leicester Cathedral for supporting events and activities during Advent and Christmas. Join by filling in an application form from the South Door or the Cathedral website here. The Cathedral Christmas tree was kindly donated by Palmers Garden Centre, Enderby.

The Dean’s Christmas Message

Advent and Christmas Services

Sunday 1 December  |  3.00pm
Advent Carol Service
Carols and music sung by the Cathedral Choir to mark the beginning of Advent.

Thursday 5 December  |  6.30pm 
Carols After Work
Join with city workers, residents and the wider community for a festive celebration.

Friday 6 December  |  7.00pm
Christian Union Carol Service

Saturday 7 December  |  5.30pm
Global Carol Service
A service of readings and carols from Christmas traditions around the world.

Sunday 8 December  |  3.00pm
Carol Service attended by the Freemasons

Wednesday 11 December  |  3.45pm
De Montfort University Carol Service

Thursday 12 December  |  5.30pm
Carol Service for the Courts

Monday 16 December  |  2.30pm
Dementia Carol Service
An informal service open to everyone, including people living with dementia, carers and families  followed by refreshments.

Thursday 19 December  |  6.00pm
The Cathedral Carol Service (I)
A traditional service of readings and prayers with Choir and Congregational carols. No booking needed. All welcome. Preacher: Canon Paul Rattigan.

Saturday 21 December  |  3.00pm and 4.30pm
Shoppers Carol Service
Take a break from your Christmas shopping and experience a moment of calm in amongst the busy-ness of the season with a short carol service in the beautiful atmosphere of your Cathedral. No booking needed. All welcome. A second service is at 4.30pm.

Sunday 22 December  |  3.00pm
The Cathedral Carol Service (II)
A traditional service of readings, prayers and carols. No booking needed. All welcome. Preacher: Bishop Guli.

Christmas Eve  Tuesday 24 December
Blessing of the Crib  |  3.00pm
A short service with carols and readings for children of all ages and their families as we build and bless the crib.

The Cathedral Carol Service (III)  |  6.00pm
A traditional service of readings, prayers and carols. No booking needed. All welcome. Preacher: Bishop Martyn.

Midnight Mass  |  11.30pm
All are welcome, to celebrate in the presence of the Christ Child and the Crib, with the Cathedral Choir, carols, incense and candlelight. Preacher: Dean David.

Christmas Day Wednesday 25 December
BCP Eucharist  |  8.00am

Festal Eucharist  |  10.30am
A Christmas morning service sung by the Cathedral Choir with carols, incense and Holy Communion. Preacher: Bishop Guli.

Festive Music and Events

Advent Meditations

Seasonal musical meditations with bible readings and poetry. Admission free.

Monday 2 December  |  1.00pm
Advent Meditation I

Monday 9 December  |  1.00pm

Advent Meditation II

Monday 16 December  |  1.00pm
Advent Meditation III

Monday 23 December  |  1.00pm
Advent Meditation IV

Tuesday 3 December  |  6.30pm 

Interfaith Panel Discussion
An evening exploring the birth narratives of Guru Nanak and Jesus. All welcome. With the Canon Chancellor.Wednesday 4 December  |  7.30pm
LOROS Charity Christmas Concert
Get into the Christmas spirit with a night of festive song. Join LOROS in the beautiful surroundings of Leicester Cathedral for a candle-lit evening of traditional Christmas carols, topped off with mulled wine and mince pies. Refreshments: 7.00pm, concert starts: 7.30pm. Tickets for £10.00 (adult) & £5.00 (child) available from 7 December  |  12.00pm
SoundCafé Carol-a-thon
From 12.00–3.00pm. All welcome.Saturday 14 December  |  7.30pm
Christmas Concert with the Leicester Symphony Orchestra and Cathedral Choir
Join us for a special concert of orchestral music, choral pieces, and audience carols. Tickets for £12.00 available from

Children and Family

Saturday 14 December   |  11.00am
Family Christmas Craft
Families are invited to join us for 90 minutes of Christmas crafts and activities. Book via Eventbrite. Please book for all children and adults attending.Monday 23 December   |  7.00pm
BBC Radio Leicester Sing Christmas!
This is an interactive community carol service broadcast live from St Martins House on BBC Radio Leicester. See their website for more details.Tuesday 24 December   |  3.00pm
Blessing of the Crib
A short service with carols and readings for children of all ages and their families as we build and bless the crib.Saturday 25 January 2020  | 3.00pm
Messy Christingle Service
A service for children and their families, singing carols and retelling the Christmas story with Christingles. Please note January date. Book via Eventbrite. Please book for all children and adults attending.

Sunday Eucharist Sermons in Advent

Exploring Biblical truths around angels, 10.30am Eucharist preachers will preach on a theme linking to the season of Entertaining Angels.

1 December
Burning in God’s Presence

8 December
Angels Among Us

15 December
The Battle Against Us

22 December
Angels and Guidance

Altered Opening Hours for Christmas

On Christmas Day, the Cathedral will be closed after the 10.30am Eucharist (approx. 12.30pm). From Thursday 26 December to Wednesday 1 January, the Cathedral will open as usual for prayers from 8.30am, but Evening Prayer will take place at 3.30pm (at 3.00pm on Sunday 29 Dec), after which the building will close. Normal opening hours will resume on Thursday 2 January 2020. Please visit the Forthcoming Closures page for full details of services, or closures and restrictions for special events.

Special Services

January 2020

Sunday 5 January
Epiphany Eucharist  |  10.30am
Epiphany Service: Follow the Star   |  3.00pm


Sunday 2 February
Candlemas Eucharist  |  10.30am
Choral Evensong with Installation of Canons   |  3.00pm

The Shack

Monday 13 and 20 January 2020 | 7.30pm

Spread over two evenings, examine the emotionally-charged story which ponders the question ‘Where is God when the world is full of brokenness?’

During the first session on 13 January, you’ll watch the film (popcorn and tissues provided). At the second, on 20 January, you’ll discover some of the background to the story and its author before discussing the themes raised.

Admission is free and all are welcome. In St Martins House, next to Leicester Cathedral (7 Peacock Lane, LE1 5PZ)

Jesus: Angel, Man or Myth?

Monday 27 January  |  7.30pm

Explore your faith in this informal session with Canon Paul Rattigan

No matter where you are in your spiritual journey,  during this session you’ll be exploring the core of Christianity. Canon Paul will guide you through in a lecture style and will finish with a Q&A. Admission is free and all are welcome. In St Martins House, next to Leicester Cathedral.

Exploring the Christian Faith

During February there will be a chance to explore the Christian faith in more detail over a number of weeks on Mondays at 7.30pm. More information will be available closer to the time.