“Welcome all to my place. To your place. To God’s place,” Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP said to open Sydney’s favourite Christmas event, the Archdiocese of Sydney’s annual Christmas at the Cathedral.
On 14 December, Australia’s mother church was transformed into a living, breathing work of art as hundreds gathered in the forecourt of St Mary’s Cathedral to be welcomed by the archbishop.
After illuminating the audience with the real meaning of the “Twelve Days of Christmas,” the theme for this year’s event, the archbishop then unveiled the spectacular light and animation show.
You could hear the collective gasp as 30 million pixels sprang to life, delivering a reverent, religious, rocking and rollicking visual extravaganza.
Delighting the stunned audience, sound and image combined in a spellbinding series of animated vignettes that held the audience transfixed from the opening bars of the event’s soundtrack.
Around the forecourt, 25 Christmas trees, the two nativity scenes, food trucks and market stalls treated visitors to a festival of festivity.
Dominic Sullivan, Director with event partners PAYCE Foundation, was proud to continue their ongoing support for the event.
“There are very few events nowadays that are free. This is going to be a great celebration for families to come into the city and visit the cathedral and see this incredible lighting display,” he said.
“This the largest event Christmas celebration in Sydney, if not Australia. Hundreds of thousands are expected to visit and for families, to share the magic and joy—this is what it’s about.”
Ann-Marie Boumerhe is a volunteer at the cathedral most days. Christmas at the Cathedral encourages her “that our church is very much alive. So many people from diverse cultures. It’s amazing.”
“It’s such a great turn out tonight. It’s so wonderful to see everyone come together,” said Archdiocese of Sydney Event manager, Monica Bautista.
“Today was a very hot day and we were worried people wouldn’t turn up. But they turned up early, and in their hundreds.”
“It’s good being here with my family, preparing for Jesus’ birth. Its unifying,” said Ignatius Jee, a 15-year-old from Turramurra who came with his parents and four brothers.
He thought the night was the perfect gift from the Archdiocese of Sydney after a trying year.
“This year’s been pretty depressing with the cost-of-living crises. I think this makes up for all of it,” said Ignatius.
The cathedral will be illuminated with Christmas projections and entertainment from 5:30 until 10:30pm each day, finishing on 25 December.