York Minster Carol Service

Every December we celebrate our annual carol service in York Minster. This event has grown in recent years to become a popular community occasion and one of the largest school carol services in the region. This really is one of the best evenings of the year, showcasing our commitment as a Church school and the Values and Care that underpin all we do. The service is open to parents, family, friends, former pupils and members of the public to join us to celebrate Christ's birth and afterwards have mince pies and mulled wine. In recent years we have been delighted to welcome the Civic Party to join us.

A great deal of planning and preparation goes into the event, not just from the students who participate by singing, reading, acting and dancing, but also by those behind the scenes. Every year it is especially impressive that all the technology on the evening is delivered by a team of students, rather than by members of staff. Most years pupils from Badger Hill, Heworth, Stamford Bridge, Warter and Wilberfoss Primary Schools also participate too. Our annual Carol Service in York Minster is another important sign of our origins as York's cathedral school and the continuing link between the Church and Archbishop Holgate's.

Article from Diocese of York

Almost one thousand five hundred parents, governors, friends of the school and members of the public filled the nave and aisles of the Cathedral, joined by the Lord Mayor and civic party. There they heard the Christmas story retold through the music, drama, bible readings, carols and dance. Over 250 students from Archbishop Holgate’s participated in the service as singers, readers, actors, dancers, musicians and technical crew. The school was also joined by 120 pupils from seven primary schools across York and the East Riding. In recent weeks the children and teachers, have been rehearsing a piece entitled The Unfinished Story which they sang together. One of the highlights of the service was a choir of over 100 Year 7 students singing Stille Nacht, who recently featured on Radio York. This was preceded by a piece of drama which commemorated the centenary of the Christmas truce of 1914, one hundred years ago. The sermon was delivered by the new Bishop of Selby, the Rt Revd Dr John Thomson who focused on the birth of Jesus McGod; whose birth could inspire the ceasing of war. 

The Head teacher, Andrew Daly, said ‘For me the annual carol service is one of the highlights of the school year and a wonderful reflection of our school values’. Richard Nihill, the School’s Chaplain, said ‘It is a real privilege to present our interpretation of the Christmas story in the beautiful setting of York Minster. We know that for many of the congregation this is their main opportunity to reflect on Jesus’ birth’. After the service everyone stayed for refreshments, sharing in mulled wine and mince pies donated by parents. Such was their generosity that, after everyone had eaten plenty, over seventy boxes were donated to homeless projects and families in need across the city.


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