More than 1,000 people attended two services at Lichfield Cathedral to mark the start of the season of Advent.
The carol services, which began in complete darkness, were held on Saturday and Sunday (November 26 and 27) and included music, readings and a procession around the cathedral.
Canon Dr Anthony Moore, Vice-Dean at Lichfield Cathedral, said the event’s message was a strong one.
“The whole service is a wonderful celebration of the light of Christ overcoming all that is dark in the world and in our lives,” he said.
“There was a real sense of wonder and mystery from the moment that a single candle was lit in the pitch‑dark. That light was shared as candles were lit throughout the cathedral. It’s a very dramatic and powerful symbol of the way that light, love and hope can be spread throughout the world.”
One of the highlights of the event this year was the illumination of the cathedral’s restored Herkenrode stained glass windows from the outside, by artist-in-residence Peter Walker.
The windows, which are located in the cathedral’s Lady Chapel, date back to the 16th century, and were reinstalled last year following a five-year restoration project.
Anthony added: “To help celebrate the return of the windows and to complement the music, Peter very cleverly created the effect of a sunrise, bathing the windows in coloured light from outside as the choir sang in the Lady Chapel. It was a breathtaking moment.”
Worshippers of a range of ages attended the event from across the diocese and region, and while admission was free, donations were invited towards the upkeep of the cathedral.
“We are extremely grateful to everyone who kindly donated at the services, as all the proceeds help to further our work and mission as well as support the upkeep of our beautiful building,” Anthony said. “In particular, we have recently been raising money to repair the roof and stonework of the Chapter House.
“There is always work to be done to keep an ancient building in good order so that future generations can enjoy it as we do.”