Christmas religious programming on the BBC

Christmas religious programming on the BBC

This festive season, from Advent to the New Year, the BBC’s religious programmes offer a host of Yuletide treats; from live worship and traditional musical celebration to conversation and reflection, there is something for everyone this Christmas.

Christmas worship on BBC One will be broadcast live from two magnificent settings: Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve from St Chad’s Roman Catholic Cathedral in Birmingham and Christmas Day Service from historic Bristol Cathedral.

BBC Two celebrates the festive season with the return of much-loved Christmas Eve tradition, Carols From King’s. Filmed within the candlelit splendour of the Chapel at King’s College Cambridge, Carol’s From Kings brings viewers a feast of music and spoken word. The evening begins with a solo chorister singing Once In Royal David’s City, before the congregation joins in song.

Throughout the Advent season, many treasured programmes are also returning to BBC screens. On BBC One, Fern Britton speaks with well-known public figures about their faith, in a brand new series of Fern Britton Meets… Songs of Praise gathers together inspiring stories exemplifying the true meaning of Christmas, culminating in The Christmas Big Sing – a symphony of 5,000 joyous voices at Royal Albert Hall.

BBC Radio is providing listeners with an abundance of special Christmas programming this year.

“This festive period, BBC Radio is offering audiences many ways to reflect, worship and celebrate through a wide variety of religious programmes.”

On BBC Radio 4, Christmas Eve Midnight Mass will be broadcast live from Westminster Abbey, led by Dean of Westminster, Reverend John Hall. The Christmas Morning service comes from Durham Cathedral. A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols returns on Christmas Eve, live from the Chapel of King’s College Cambridge. Based around nine Bible readings telling the loving purposes of God, this traditional celebration will be interspersed with carols both old and new. In a special Christmas Day edition of Sunday, Edward Stourton visits Hampton Court to explore Christmas in 1516 and examine the religious, political, cultural and social climate of the time.

On BBC Radio 2, Clare Balding meets actor and comedian Barry Humphries on Good Morning Christmas. There will be live music from the gospel choir AVE and The Archbishop of Westminster, the Most Revd. Vincent Nichols, will reflect on the importance of Christmas in this year’s Christmas Day edition.

Tommy Nagra, Head of Religion and Ethics, BBC Studios says : “The BBC’s religious programming across BBC Television this Christmas continues its tradition of bringing communities together to reflect on the true meaning of the season. A rich mix of traditional carols, festive music, contemplation and live worship, allows audiences to celebrate in their own personal way.”

Christine Morgan, Head of Radio Religion and Ethics says : “This festive period, BBC Radio is offering audiences many ways to reflect, worship and celebrate through a wide variety of religious programmes. From The Sunday Hour and Good Morning Sunday’s special Christmas Day shows on BBC Radio 2, to BBC Radio 4’s live services and thought-provoking features, there are programmes for everyone throughout the Christmas period.”

About The Author

Thomas Anderson

Founder and MD of Inclusive Networks. Thomas was Chair of the award winning LGBT network for The Co-operative Group, ‘Respect’ (2011-14). Thomas named the network and designed and managed all of the branding, communications and engagement until he stepped down from the role of Chair in March 2014. He also created the branding, name, was Editor of the quarterly magazine and developed the launch of the UK’s first Inter-Retail LGBT network ‘CheckOUT’. He contributed to the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index 5 Year review. In recognition of his work in the diversity field he was shortlisted for ‘Diversity Champion of the Year’ at the 2013 European Diversity Awards, shortlisted for ‘Role Model of the Year’ at the 2012 Lesbian & Gay Foundation Homo Heroes Awards and shortlisted for the ‘Positive Action’ award at the 2013 Asian Fire Service Association Fair & Diverse Awards. He also won the 2012 ‘Pride of The Co-operative’ award. He was a judge for Scotland's biggest diversity awards, The Icon Awards in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

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