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Let there be light! Christmas at the Cathedral launched

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Celebrating the Hope and Peace of Christmas

Archbishop Anthony Fisher said he hopes this year’s Christmas at the Cathedral evening festival can be a source of hope and peace in a troubled world, struggling with the devastation of wars in Ukraine and elsewhere and locally from ravaging floods across our state and nation.

Archbishop Fisher was speaking at the launch of the festival on 8 December with large numbers of families from across greater Sydney converging on the cathedral forecourt to see the amazing light show of Christmas art projected onto Australia’s mother church, St Mary’s Cathedral.

The crowds were entertained by legendary jazz singer Monica Trapagna performing with the Pocket Trio Band while children enjoyed fun activities including face painting and taking photos beside glowing Christmas trees and nativity scenes.

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Channel 7 news presenters, Mark Ferguson and Angie Asimus were the MCs on opening night with 18 further nights of festivities ahead in the cathedral square from 7pm each evening in the lead up to 25 December.

Families gather in St Mary’s Cathedral forecourt to watch Christmas at the Cathedral. Photo: Giovanni Portelli.

 

Now a tradition in Sydney for over a decade, Archbishop Fisher encouraged those attending to donate if they can to this year’s charity appeal to help raise funds for relief and recovery in flood-hit parts of NSW.

“I encourage everyone to be generous. Likewise, our theme for this year’s light show will be hope and peace amidst struggle. We will see how God always remains near to us, directing, guiding and leading us through the floods of this life, and sending His gentle rains of grace when we most need them”, he said.

This year’s Christmas at the Cathedral display focuses initially on the miracle of God’s creation from the Garden of Eden before then capturing the great New Testament account from the Annunciation through to Mary and Joseph’s pilgrimage to Bethlehem and the birth of Our Saviour Jesus Christ and concluding with the Feast of the Epiphany when the whole world came to worship Him.

Archbishop Fisher said he believes many people across our troubled world today will relate closely to the struggles of Mary and Joseph at that first Christmas, captured well in this year’s lights display.

Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP with some of the crowd attending the launch of Christmas at the Cathedral on 8 December. Photo: Giovanni Portelli

“We will witness Mary making her way with Joseph to Bethlehem and finding no place in the inn- like those in war or flood devastated places this year. Still she trusts in God, she knows the protective Dove is watching over her family, just as He was brooding over the waters of creation at the beginning, just as He announced an end to the flood in Noah’s day, just as He would descend upon Jesus in the Jordan. God is with us through the floods and the droughts of our lives”, Archbishop Fisher added.

“And I pray that this year’s event will be a source of hope and peace for all of you and for everyone in our city, state and nation”.

Representing the NSW Government at the official launch of Christmas at the Cathedral, Minister for Finance and Employee Relations, Mr Damien Tudehope, said the event had special personal significance for him and for many families across greater Sydney.

“I have been coming to this event for many, many years, not so much as a politician, but as the father of a family and this event above all recognises that Christmas is a religious event and it’s the premier religious event at this time of year and we should acknowledge it as such”, Mr Tudehope said.

Jazz singer Monica Trapagna and the Pocket Trio band performing on the opening night of Christmas at the Cathedral. Photo: Giovanni Portelli

The Director of the PAYCE Foundation, representing the presenting partner for Christmas at the Cathedral, Paynter Dixon, Mr Dominic Sullivan, said the event has long established itself as Sydney’s premier Christmas celebration.

“What makes it so special is that everyone, regardless of background, culture or faith is very welcome and so it is very much an inclusive event which brings people, families and communities together to celebrate this happy season”, he said.

Donations to this year’s charity partner for Christmas at the Cathedral, the Archbishop’s Flood Appeal can be made online here: https://www.ourfaithourworks.org/flood-appeal/

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