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Ely Cathedral cancels its Christmas carol concert, Hark! The Herald, due to Covid-19

Ely Cathedral has been forced to cancelled is popular Christmas carol concert due to concerns over the rising tide of Covid-19 infections in the community.

Hark! The Herald had been due to take place on Wednesday, December 22, and traditionally marks the start of Christmas festivities for many people.

Hark and Herald Christmas concert at Ely Cathedral. Picture: Keith Heppell
Hark and Herald Christmas concert at Ely Cathedral. Picture: Keith Heppell

More than 1,000 tickets had been sold by mid-October, but they will have to be refunded.

In a statement today, the Cathedral said: “After much deliberation with musicians, senior staff and clergy at the weekend, we have decided to cancel our annual Christmas concert.

“The wellbeing and safety of the audience, performers, staff and volunteers remains a priority and we do not feel we can go ahead securely in the current environment. We are all very disappointed by this decision, but with the increasing numbers of cases of Covid 19, we feel this is the responsible thing to do.“

However, three carol services are still taking place on December 22, 23 and 24. They are free to attend, but places must be booked in advance as numbers are going to be limited to around 300, so attendees can gather in relative safety.

These events, along with services on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day will also be live-streamed via the cathedral’s website so people can watch in their own homes.

Edmund Aldhouse, director of music at the cathedral, said: “It is a great shame as both the boy and girls choristers, along with the lower voices and Ely Imps, have spent a great deal of time in rehearsals perfecting their performance.

“However, we all understand the rationale, and ensuring the choirs are well and virus free over the Christmas period is paramount.”

Visit www.elycathedral.org to book a place at the carol services or to watch a live-stream.

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