Eglwys Gadeiriol Tyddewi
Oddi wrth Y Deon: Y Tra Pharchedig Dr Sarah Rowland Jones LVO OBE
17 December 2020
Dear Parishioners and friends
Revising our Advent and Christmas Services
In light of the First Minister’s announcements yesterday, and the high levels of the coronavirus in and beyond Pembrokeshire, we have reviewed arrangements for our services through to Christmas. We must ensure as far as possible the safety and well-being of everyone, from visitors and those who attend services, through to members of the choir, clergy and other Cathedral staff. We are mindful that mixing indoors, especially when this includes people from near and far, is very much discouraged.
We’ve therefore taken the difficult decision to move several of our services on line, cancel some, and adjust others. I know that this will be a great disappointment to many, since Christmas at St Davids means so much to so many. But this year it seems by far the wiser course of action to ‘love our neighbours as ourselves’ by minimising opportunities for mingling and spreading the virus. We also hope the alternatives we’re proposing will provide genuine opportunities to join us in spirit in pondering the Christmas mysteries, and worshipping the Christ child, born among us as Emmanuel, God with us.
Details of the new arrangements are given below. You can also find services from St Davids this coming Sunday on BBC Radio Wales at 7.30am (when I lead ‘Celebration’ with music from our choir); BBC Radio 4 at 8.10am (Sunday Worship led by Canon Leigh, me preaching and the choir once again in full voice) and on S4C at 7.30pm (Dechrau Canu, Dechrau Canmol, ‘Nadolig – Gadeirlan Tyddewi’). Please also keep an eye on our Facebook page and Twitter feed, since additional items will be finding their way there, as we near Christmas!
The birth of the Messiah, two millennia ago, was a small and quiet affair, very much not as expected. As we have a very unexpected and quiet Christmas this year, may we also find ourselves encountering the Saviour, coming among us in surprising ways.
Wishing you a blessed Christmas, and happy New Year
Revised Advent and Christmas Programme of Services and Events
- 19 December – the Launch of the Angel Trail is cancelled. But the Trail can still be followed, ‘self guided’, from Tŷ’r Pererin, down Quickwell Hill and around the Cathedral Close, from 19 to 31 December. The map of the route, can be downloaded from the Cathedral website, https://stdavidscathedral.org.uk/sites/default/files/downloads/Walking%20Route%20for%20Angel%20Trail.pdf
- 20 December – the 11.15am service will now not be a Nativity, but instead a more general ‘Gwasanaeth Goleuni – Service of Light’ for the fourth Sunday in Advent.
- 20 December and 22 December, 7pm, Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols – these will in effect be cancelled, as we cannot have a large, even socially distanced, congregation present. The service on 22 December will be on line, as originally planned, but with no congregation
- 21 December, 6pm, For Those we Hold Dear – this ticketed service will go ahead as planned
- 22 December, 7pm, Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols – will be streamed only, without a congregation present (see above)
- 23 December, 6pm, For Those we Hold Dear – this service has already been cancelled
- 24 December, 4pm, Crib Service – this service has been cancelled. We shall post an alternative Crib Service on line during the afternoon.
- 24 December, 11pm, Midnight Mass – this service will be streamed only, with no congregation
- 25 December, 8am, Holy Eucharist – this service will go ahead as planned
- 25 December, 10.30am, Bilingual Service – this will now be Choral Mattins, rather than a Choral Eucharist. Please use the same tickets.
If you have a ticket for a service that is going ahead and you do not intend to use it, please let us know, on email@example.com.
The Cathedral nave will also be open for prayer and personal reflection, and lighting candles, from 10am to 3pm Monday to Saturday, excluding Christmas Day when we will close after the 10.30am service.
We shall also have a short said service of Holy Eucharist at 11.15 on Sunday 27 December and Sunday 3 January. There will be no evening service on these days.
We apologise for the disappointment that these decisions may cause, but we believe this is the best way we can ensure a safe and happy Christmas and New Year for us all.