Shepherds, real sheep and even a donkey – a very special Christmas 2021 at the Minster

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at Halifax Minster - one of busiest and most wonderful times of the year for the historic church.

By Staff Reporter
Thursday, 23rd December 2021, 6:00 pm
Halifax Minster
Halifax Minster

As in past years, the Minster and its hard-working team of staff and supporters, is preparing to safely welcome visitors through its ancient, solid oak doors – and some of them four-legged!

The Minster’s Christmas Eve tradition of the Christingle event has grown in popularity year on year and 2021 will be no exception.

This year the Christingle will be in the form of a ‘walk-through’ event and visitors of all ages will be able to wander through the Minster, illuminated by a forest of sparkling Christmas trees, to see the Christmas Story, brought to life by Minster helpers dressed in costume in a series of tableaux.

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Soap opera actor Peter Alexander (EastEnders, Coronation Street, Brookside, Emmerdale and Hollyoaks), will relay the Christmas story to visitors; he has been recorded by Halifax-based Phoenix Radio who have produced a CD.

And there will be an extra treat in store as the shepherds will have real sheep and there will be real donkeys on the Minster lawns for visitors to meet!

As visitors wait to enter the building, they will be greeted by Elland Silver Youth Band outside the south porch playing seasonal music, and the event will end with the Minster Choir singing outside the west doors.

Vicar of Halifax Minster, Canon Hilary Barber said: “There is a lot of preparation in the run up to Christmas but all the hard work and effort definitely pays off when we see the appreciation on people’s faces as they walk through the doors.

“This year will be no exception with our walk-through Christingle event. The event has been organised in this way to keep people safe during these difficult times. The Minster offers a large, well ventilated, Covid-safe place and we are looking forward to welcoming visitors of all ages to this truly magical event.

“The Minster has been transformed into a winter wonderland with a forest of Christmas trees adorning almost every bit of space and along with the tableaux, this is the perfect setting for people to listen to this age-old Christmas story and see it brought to life.”

The Christingle event runs from 1.30pm to 4.30pm. This event is ticketed by donation to the Children's Society and tickets cost £3, with accompanied children being admitted free. Tickets are timed throughout the three-hour period to avoid overcrowding.

Midnight Mass takes place on Christmas Eve from 11.30pm. This is a traditional sung service of Holy Communion for Christmas and perfect for those who want to lie in bed on Christmas morning.

On Christmas Day, Family Eucharist takes place 10.30am to 11.45am.