St Eunan's Cathedral, Raphoe
The historic cathedral of St Eunan’s in Raphoe will be transformed next week when it is decorated with around 50 Christmas trees for the church’s first ever Christmas tree festival.
The ‘Festival of Christmas Trees’ will open on Friday 6th of December and continue until Sunday 8th of December. A Community Carol Service will be held at 8pm on the Friday to launch the festival formally.
The Dean of Raphoe, Very Rev’d Arthur Barrett, has extended an open invitation to the public to include a visit to the festival as part of their Christmas preparations.
“Our ‘Festival of Christmas Trees’ will be a memorable experience for our parishioners,” Dean Barrett said, “and will offer a remarkable spectacle for the whole community as people prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus.”
Such festivals are common in other Church of Ireland parishes but this will be the first time in its 800-year history that a Christmas tree festival will have been held in the Cathedral Church of St Eunan in Raphoe.
Dean Barrett has acknowledged the efforts of his parish team and the help of the wider community in making the event possible. “I am very grateful to the many individuals, groups, businesses and organisations who have ‘invested’ in our celebration by providing Christmas trees. Our festival is going to feature around 50 trees – of various shapes and sizes – all of which will attest to the ingenuity and creativity of their creators.
“If you’ve never been to a Christmas Tree Festival before, why not give ours a try? They provide a truly wonderful spectacle and offer a welcome respite from the hassle and pressure that are for many people nowadays an unavoidable feature of the festive season.”
Dean Barret also invited people to ‘kick-start’ their holiday season by attending the Community Carol Service in Raphoe Cathedral at 8pm on Friday 6th December.
“The Service will be a joyful way of celebrating the beginning of our ‘Festival of Christmas Trees’ and a great opportunity for people to come together in fellowship with their neighbours. Whatever their denomination, whether they’re people of faith or not, our doors are open and people will be welcome to join us at our Carol Service,” he added.
St Eunan’s Cathedral in Raphoe will be open for the ‘Festival of Christmas Trees’ from 12 noon to 7pm on Friday 6th December; 10am to 7pm on Saturday 7th December; and 2pm to 7pm on Sunday 8th December. All proceeds will go to the parish’s ‘Cathedral Restoration Project 2020’.
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