Video: Giant Advent wreath lifted into place at York Minster

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One of the largest Advent wreaths in the country has been created at York Minster.

The three-metre wide wreath was created by the minster’s volunteer flower arrangers yesterday using foliage from locations around the city - marking the start of the cathedral’s Advent and Christmas festivities.

One of the largest Advent wreaths in the country is suspended in the central tower of York Minster, marking the start of the cathedral's Advent and Christmas festivities.  Pictures: Jonathan Gawthorpe

One of the largest Advent wreaths in the country is suspended in the central tower of York Minster, marking the start of the cathedral's Advent and Christmas festivities. Pictures: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Suspended below the central tower, the giant wreath holds five candles, each a metre tall and capable of burning constantly for three weeks. One is lit each Sunday during the four weeks of Advent, with the final candle lit on Christmas Day.

Children from the Minster School’s pre-prep and reception classes helped head verger, Alex Carberry, lift the candles into place and watched as the giant wreath was raised.

“It’s become an annual tradition for the children to help install the candles and then magically ‘lift’ the wreath into place,” said Mr Carberry.

“We’re very lucky to have a talented and dedicated team of flower arrangers who spend around three hours making the wreath every year, using more than 12 metres of oasis and incorporating drip trays the size of kitchen woks to catch any wax dripping from the candles as they burn.”

One of the largest Advent wreaths in the country is suspended in the central tower of York Minster, marking the start of the cathedral's Advent and Christmas festivities.  Pictures: Jonathan Gawthorpe

One of the largest Advent wreaths in the country is suspended in the central tower of York Minster, marking the start of the cathedral's Advent and Christmas festivities. Pictures: Jonathan Gawthorpe

The wreath’s first candle will be lit on Sunday, the first Sunday of Advent, at the 10am Eucharist service.

The candles will remain lit until the Feast of Epiphany on January 6 - although at least two will need to be replaced during the five weeks.

One of the largest Advent wreaths in the country is suspended in the central tower of York Minster, marking the start of the cathedral's Advent and Christmas festivities.  Pictures: Jonathan Gawthorpe

One of the largest Advent wreaths in the country is suspended in the central tower of York Minster, marking the start of the cathedral's Advent and Christmas festivities. Pictures: Jonathan Gawthorpe