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Wells this Christmas

PUBLISHED: 12:08 13 November 2007 | UPDATED: 14:55 20 February 2013

Chapter House, Wells Cathedral

Chapter House, Wells Cathedral

The secular and the sacred have always enjoyed a peaceful and happy co-existence in this smallest and most accessible of cities. The cathedral is an integral part of Wells life and provides a graceful and very calming...

The secular and the sacred have always enjoyed a peaceful and happy co-existence in this smallest and most accessible of cities. The cathedral is an integral part of Wells life and provides a graceful and very calming context for that most stress-inducing of consumer pastimes - Christmas shopping. Centrepiece of this year's Christmas celebrations in Wells is a magnificent parade headed by Santa's reindeer, which will take place on 9 December when the lights will be switched on by the Mayor.

As well as Santa's traditional grotto and a performance by the Cathedral's wonderful choristers in the Market Square, performers from Wookey Hole Circus School and puppet shows will join the entertainment and provide one of Somerset's most extravagant and enjoyable Christmas countdowns. Throughout the afternoon, The Crown Inn will be providing drinks and nibbles in Market Square, accompanied by the Lions who will set up a hot chestnut stall nearby. Meanwhile The Bishop's Palace will be entering into the spirit of the occasion by providing free entry into the Bishop's Gardens. Reindeer will graze on Bishop's Palace Green and a series of 20-minute carol services will be held in the Bishop's Chapel. There will also be a magical 'carols in coracles' service from the moat itself!

Dedicated shoppers won't need to stray too far from the action - the shops of Wells, unlike many larger and more sprawling cities, are concentrated into a compact, accessible area with wonderful kitchen, fashion and gift shops virtually next door to each other. If you can't find what you're looking for in this most user-friendly of shopping centres, then it probably doesn't exist! And for those seeking the beauty and deeper meaning of Christmas, the Cathedral lies at the epicentre of Somerset's spiritual life and will be holding a wide range of services. During Advent and Christmas itself around 35,000 people are expected to take part in services and concerts there.


9 December - the day at a glance:

12.30pm-1.30pm: Six Reindeer Parade - Santa on a Sleigh and parade of children and circus performers

1.30pm-2.30pm: Reindeer in Stalls on Bishop's Green

1.45pm-2pm: Cathedral Choristers sing in the Square

2pm-4pm: Wells City Band playing in the Square

2.30pm-4pm: Air Ambulance planned visit on Recreation Ground

4pm-4.15pm: Prize Draws

4.15pm: Mayor turns on the Christmas Lights

Wells TIC: tel 01749 672552

Wells Cathedral Services

Starting with the Cathedral Advent Carol service at 5pm on Advent Sunday (2 December), there is a series of carol services or carol concerts being held in the Cathedral.

On Christmas Eve there is a Crib Service for 'children of all ages' at 3.30pm and a Midnight Eucharist celebrated by the Bishop at 11.30pm.

On Christmas Day a series of services celebrate the birth of Christ, starting with 8am Holy Communion (said) and followed by sung Eucharist at 9.45am, sung Matins at 11.30am and said Evening Prayer at 3pm.

For more information call tel 01749 674483 or visit


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