More than 22,000 people came to Christmas services and concerts at Exeter Cathedral over the Christmas period this year.
There were more people at every service this year in the run up to Christmas, adding up to a 13 per cent rise on last year's attendances.
On Christmas Day, 1,450 people came to services, and more than a thousand came to lunchtime carols in the week before Christmas. The crib service on Christmas Eve attracted 600 people and children, and the evening service that day, known as the Grandisson, drew in 1,700 people to sing carols and hear all the choristers – boys, girls and men – sing.
In total 22,200 people came into the Cathedral for special Christmas services, in addition to the many who attended Sunday worship or came in to visit the building throughout December. Last year, 19,700 people attended Christmas services and concerts.
The Dean of Exeter, Very Revd Jonathan Draper has been at the Cathedral only 20 months but has seen numbers of worshippers rise since he arrived.
He said he was thrilled that the Cathedral was still at the heart of so many people’s Christmas celebrations.
“It’s wonderful that, despite the terrible weather before Christmas this year, people still came to our Christmas services and concerts. Among all the busyness of life – especially at this time of year – the Cathedral offers a special place for people to reflect and connect with God, and join the millions over the centuries who have worshipped in this building.”
Attending services at the Cathedral is always free, but visitors who want to look round the building are asked to pay £6, to help towards the £4,000 a day running costs of keeping the Cathedral open and maintained. .