Festival of Light returns to Berkhamsted church to welcome in Advent
The Festival of Light will be followed by a traditional Advent Carol service
St Peter’s Church in Berkhamsted will be lit up by a thousand candles and tealights to celebrate the start of Advent as part of the town’s annual Festival of Light.
The festival, where the town’s Christmas lights are switched on, is returning after a year’s absence due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Flickering candles, tealights, candelabras and coloured lights will transform the 800 year old church from just before dusk (3pm) on Sunday, November 28, giving local residents the opportunity to take a break from the celebrations on the high street and revel in the tranquillity, spirituality and beauty of the ancient building.
Symbolising the light that Christ brings into the world, Advent is always a special time in the Christian calendar and marks the start of preparations for the Christmas season.
This year is even more special as St Peter’s looks forward to celebrating its 800th anniversary in 2022, with a packed year of events and activities planned.
Everyone is welcome to walk through St Peter’s, sit and enjoy the stillness or pray and reflect after another unsettling year. There is no cost to visit but any donations will be warmly received by the church.
The Festival of Light will be followed by a traditional Advent Carol service, also conducted in candlelight, which consists of readings, choral anthems sung by St Peter’s thriving choir and congregational hymns.
The service lasts about an hour. Tickets should be booked and are available online.
Outside, members of the St Peter’s congregation will be selling hot chocolate and mulled wine in collectable St Peter’s mugs.
Saint Nicholas will also be out and about around St Peter’s handing out, as is tradition, chocolate coins to children.
Mark Grego, church warden at St Peter’s, said: "The church looks particularly spectacular in candlelight and it is both inspiring and humbling to think that St Peter’s has been at the heart of
Berkhamsted for nearly 800 years.
"The Festival of Light gives local Berkhamsted residents the opportunity to come in and visit the church.
"All are welcome particularly if they’ve never stepped over the threshold before to see it looking resplendent and we hope they also enjoy a warming mug of mulled wine or hot chocolate with us afterwards.”