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, Wilberfoss and a variety of other 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 the Diocese of York website about the 2016 service below:
On Wednesday evening Archbishop Holgate’s School celebrated their 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. Over one thousand two hundred parents, governors, friends of the school and members of the public filled the nave and aisles of the Cathedral, joined by Dr John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York. There they heard the Christmas story retold through the music, drama, bible readings, carols and dance. This was done with a particular focus on how the Christmas story reflects the power of God. Over 200 students from Archbishop Holgate’s participated in the service as singers, readers, actors, dancers, musicians, ushers, technical crew and in a British Sign Language choir. The school was also joined by almost 200 pupils from eight primary schools across York and the East Riding.
The preacher at the service was the Most Revd and Right Hon Dr John Sentamu, Archbishop of York. With the assistance of Year 7 pupil Arthur Sharpe, he gave the congregation the reminder that Jesus is the light; one who guides, who reveals, who puts chaos to flight, who warms and who cleanses. He then issued the challenge of considering that we can pass this light of his on to others that we encounter. At the end of the service he surprised the congregation by joining the choirs and orchestra on the djembe drum for a rousing performance of ‘Peace has Come’. Later that evening he tweeted: Archbishop Holgate’s School Christmas Carol Service in York Minster was FANTABULOUS!
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. To have the opportunity to share this with over a thousand people is wonderful. For me the annual carol service is one of the highlights of the school year and a wonderful reflection of our school values. We were delighted to have welcomed the Archbishop of York to this service in this 470th year since our foundation”. After the evening 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 fifty boxes were donated to homeless projects and families in need across the city.