Lichfield Cathedral credits local pupils as stars of its Christmas art project

Published on: Thu, 14/12/2017 - 16:16

Following the success of last year’s event, Lichfield Cathedral has returned with its Cathedral Illuminated series to bring the Christmas story to life in the theme of ‘Star of Wonder, Star of Light’. As part of the theme for 2017, the Cathedral’s artist-in-residence, Peter Walker has teamed up with 5,000 pupils from 13 local schools to create the Starry Starry Night art installation which will run alongside the Cathedral's illuminations.

The art work, supported using public funding by Arts Council England, is currently on display in the Cathedral’s beautiful mediaeval Chapter House. It is made of up of thousands of individual gold stars hanging from the ceiling with messages of peace and Christmas wishes that have been thoughtfully decorated and written out by the school children. According to Alex Nicholson-Ward, Schools and Learning Manager for the Cathedral, children taking part have come from primary and secondary schools throughout the Diocese of Lichfield, including as far away as Stoke and Telford as well as several schools in Lichfield itself.

Adrian Dorber, Dean of Lichfield Cathedral, said: “The children have worked incredibly hard to create thoughtful and moving messages about the importance of hope and peace in our world. As always, the outstanding contribution of schools and young people is at the heart of this Cathedral project."

This is the fourth major art installation involving mass participation which Peter Walker has created in his role as Lichfield Cathedral’s Artist-in-Residence. Commenting on his involvement in the event, Peter Walker said: “Everyone who participates is creating an individual piece of a much larger contemporary artwork, which I have designed in order to help us look at a different aspect of the Cathedral interior in a new way. This is truly a shared experience and part of our ongoing creative work at the Cathedral.”

Guests visiting the installation will also be able to visit the Cathedral’s Christmas Tree Festival which has over 50 Christmas trees on display, uniquely decorated by local schools businesses and charities, and make a donation to vote for their favourite. All proceeds from the event will go towards the Friends of Lichfield Cathedral charity whose work is dedicated to preserving and restoring the Cathedral and its precincts.

Individuals attending this year’s The Cathedral Illuminated next week will get the opportunity to go round the Christmas Tree Festival and Starry Starry Night installation. The Cathedral Illuminated is almost sold out but there are a few tickets remaining for late evening showings for people that haven’t had a chance to get there hands on them yet. For more information about tickets, please visit


For individuals not attending the illuminations, both the Starry Starry Night installation and Christmas Tree Festival will be open to the public until 3rd January and admission is free. To allow for the midday Eucharist service to continue on a Saturday, which is open for visitors to attend, the Quire Aisles where the Christmas Tree Festival is held will close between 12.15pm and 1.15pm.