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Christmas 2016 in Sherborne: Things to do

14:37 28 November 2016

This year's Sherborne Abbey Christmas card created by Sherborne artist Lisa Welwood which is for sale in the Abbey Shop

This year's Sherborne Abbey Christmas card created by Sherborne artist Lisa Welwood which is for sale in the Abbey Shop


From Christingle to Cinderella, here is our round up of festive events in Sherborne

Deck the halls

Throughout December you can admire and be inspired by the award-winning Christmas Display at Castle Gardens on New Road. Open every day until 6pm. More details at

Christmas Exhibition - 25 November – 23 December

The Jerram Gallery in Half Moon Street hosts this exhibition featuring new work by 15 artists. More at

Stroll around Sherborne - 4 December

Enjoy a gentle stroll around historic Sherborne with Blue Badge Guide, Cindy Chant. Starts 2pm from Sherborne TIC – no need to pre-book, cost £5. 

Sherborne’s Festive Shopping Day - 4 December

Get into the Christmas spirit at this event (10am-4pm), with street entertainers, live music and Santa in his Grotto. Includes shoppers’ carols in Sherborne Abbey at 1.30pm, 2.30pm and 3.30pm, when you can, slip away from the hustle and bustle and discover the true meaning of Christmas.

Christingle Service - 4 December

If you have never been to this event before, try and make it to the Abbey for 5pm to experience this very special service.

Music, Mirth and Magic - 10 December

Sherborne Voluntary Ambulance Service presents this Christmas Extravaganza at Cheap Street Methodist Church at 7pm. Tickets £10 each on sale at Sherborne TIC.

Christmas Tree Festival Carol Concert - 11 December

The Sherborne Town Band plays its part at this carol concert at the Cheap Street Church 6.30-7.30pm.

Sherborne Christmas - 12 December

Sherborne Abbey’s annual gift to the town is this wonderful concert at the Abbey. Starts 7.30pm.

Dorset Farmers’ Market - 16 December

Looking for some delicious gifts or something locally sourced for your Christmas dinner? Then make your way to The Conduit for this farmers’ market from 9am-1pm.

Cinderella - 18-19 December

Sherborne Amateur Pantomime Society gets into character as Cinders meets her Prince Charming, despite her sisters’ intervention. The Digby Hall, Hound Street. Performances: 18 Dec 6.30pm; 19 Dec 2.30pm & 6.30pm. Tickets from Sherborne TIC 01935 815341.

How we celebrate Christmas at Sherborne Abbey

“When The Right Reverend Karen Gorham, Bishop of Sherborne, joins us for our principal Christmas Carol Service – at 3pm on Sunday 18 December – we will already have hosted some 19 such services in the Abbey, with several more still to come including the Crib Service at 5pm on Christmas Eve.

Then come four more big services: Midnight Mass (11.30pm on Christmas Eve); the 8am said Holy Communion according to the timeless words of the Book of Common Prayer; the Sung Eucharist at 9.30am on Christmas Day and the 11.15am Festal Mattins. But my favourite is the little Meditation round the Crib which I will take at 4pm on Christmas afternoon.

I wonder how St Aldhelm, the first Bishop of Sherborne, celebrated Christmas in what was then his little cathedral at Sherborne in the early years of the 8th century? I expect the services went through day and night according to the usual round of prayer and plainsong chant of the monks within a Benedictine monastery.

Some Christians ‘knock’ Christmas. They seem to resent the fact that those who seldom attend church can just stroll in for a carol service. I do not begin to understand that. There was no room at the inn for Mary and Joseph and the baby Jesus , but the innkeeper allowed them to camp in the pub stable. Not only can we do better than that; we must do better. Otherwise we will have missed the whole point and purpose of Christ coming into our world to show us the limitless love of God. Have a happy – and holy – Christmas!”

The Reverend Canon Eric Woods DL, Vicar of Sherborne Abbey

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