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Christmas at St Paul's - finding new ways to celebrate this year

As the UK prepares for Christmas unlike any other, St Paul’s is finding new ways to celebrate in 2020, with our first livestreamed Christmas event, festive services, schools and family activities to complete at home and more. 

Our most popular Christmas concert ‘A Celebration of Christmas’ will be livestreamed for the first time this year. On Thursday 17 December 2020 at 19:00 GMT, celebrity readers, the world-famous Choir of St Paul’s Cathedral and the City of London Sinfonia will come together for ‘A Celebration of Christmas’, in partnership with Lloyds Bank. Viewers can enjoy some of the nation’s favourite carols including 'Once in royal David’s city' and 'Hark the herald angels sing', as well as other seasonal pieces by the Cathedral Choir, and a performance from the City of London Sinfonia of Sleigh Ride – the most popular piece of Christmas orchestral music ever! It is free to sign up and watch via the livestream, and the concert will be available to watch for 48 hours afterwards. Sign up via Eventbrite here

The Dean of St Paul’s, the Very Reverend Dr David Ison said “The impact on COVID-19 has affected each one of us, from changing our everyday lives to grieving the death of a loved one from this terrible illness. With many of us being unable to celebrate together, this Christmas will feel very different. St Paul’s is looking to celebrate Christmas in new ways this year. COVID-19 restrictions have vastly affected the number of people we can welcome into the building for worship and sightseeing, but we hope as many people as possible can enjoy the livestream of ‘A Celebration of Christmas’ from home. We are deeply grateful for the continued support from Lloyds Bank that allows this beloved Christmas event to take place each year, especially during this difficult and unusual time.”

Lord Blackwell, Chairman of Lloyds Banking Group said “We are delighted to be able to sponsor ‘A Celebration of Christmas’ at St Paul’s. With our headquarters close to St Paul’s Cathedral, we are immensely proud of our long-running sponsorship of its Christmas concert, which is a highlight event of the festive period. While it is a great shame that we cannot enjoy this wonderful concert together in person this year, we are delighted that, by being livestreamed, so many more people will be able to enjoy the concert and to participate in the celebration.”

Alongside the livestream of a ‘A Celebration of Christmas’ on Thursday 17 December, St Paul’s is celebrating the season with a number of free but ticketed festive services for a limited number of people to attend in person. These include the Ceremony of Carols by Benjamin Britten on Saturday 12 December; the organ recital of La Nativité du Seigneur played by our organist Simon Johnston on Sunday 13 December; A Christmas Carol Service on Wednesday 23 December and Thursday 24 December; Midnight Eucharist on Christmas Eve and services on Christmas Day. 
Due to COVID-19 restrictions on the number of people who can attend these services in person, all services are ticketed and strictly limited in numbers. Read more on how to apply for the free tickets to attend in person here

St Paul’s invites schools to take part in Carol Hymn Flashmob, a digital campaign where schoolchildren from across the country are encouraged to share a recording of themselves singing their favourite carols on social media. Full details available here