Advent wreath with a difference helping count down to Christmas at York Minster

LARGE TASK: York Minster's advent wreath is assembled and then raised beneath the Central Tower. PIC: James Hardisty
LARGE TASK: York Minster's advent wreath is assembled and then raised beneath the Central Tower. PIC: James Hardisty
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IT IS one of the largest Advent wreaths in the country and it will provide a countdown to Christmas in one of the nation’s most famous places of worship.

The giant festive decoration, which measures more than 12ft across, has been created by York Minster’s volunteer flower arrangers, who have used foliage collected from across the city.

The wreath was unveiled yesterday and is now suspended below the Central Tower, and will hold five candles – each 3ft tall and capable of burning constantly for three weeks. One will be lit each Sunday during the four weeks of Advent, with the final candle lit on Christmas Day.

The Minster’s head verger, Alex Carberry, said: “We’re very lucky to have a talented and dedicated team of volunteer flower arrangers who make 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.

“The finished piece always looks stunning and becomes a focal point for worshippers and visitors throughout the Advent and Christmas period.”

Special services will be held at the Minster throughout the festive season, starting with the Advent Procession on Sunday which will be followed by the York Minster Choir’s performance of Handel’s famous oratorio Messiah on December 9.