Dean Designate to preside over raising of UK's largest suspended Advent Wreath

Friday 30 November 2012, 11.00am

The Very Reverend Vivienne Faull officially takes up the position as Dean of York on Saturday 1stDecember, but on the day before her installation she will join children from the Minster School’s pre-prep department to oversee the raising of a three-metre wide Advent Wreath – thought to be the largest suspended advent wreath in the country.

The wreath is assembled each year by York Minster’s team of volunteer flower arrangers, using foliage taken from Dean’s Park. The spectacular evergreen ring wreath takes a full morning to assemble and uses nearly ten metres of oasis to hold the foliage in place. It is then hoisted into position under the central tower and remains in place until twelve days after Christmas, kept fresh and green by liberal amounts of watering over the six week period.

The Acting Dean, Canon Glyn Webster said, “Given the size of the Minster, it is appropriate that our Advent Wreath should be large and visible to all. The wreath has for a number of years become of feature of our observance of Advent, and I am delighted that the new Dean has arrived just in time to observe its creation and fixing in place.”

For the Church, Advent is a period of preparation for the celebrations which mark the birth of Christ, and the Advent Wreath, suspended from the central tower, is an ancient symbol. The four candles represent the fore-runners of Jesus: the Patriarchs, the Prophets, John the Baptist and the Blessed Virgin Mary. In the centre of the wreath is a fifth candle, lit at Christmas to represent the light of Christ coming into the world. The candles are one metre in height and the first of them will be lit at the 10.00 a.m. service on the first Sunday of Advent, 2ndDecember. Each candle will burn continuously for about 28 days, after which it is replaced to keep each flame alive.

The raising of the Advent Wreath marks the start of York Minster’s busiest season of concerts, performances and events which run alongside the packed programme of services in the run up to Christmas. Highlights include the Advent Procession on the evening of 2 December, Christmas craft workshops for both families and adults with York Minster experts on the 8, 15 and 22 December, York Minster Carol Concerts on Friday 7 and 14 December – both of which have already sold out – and musical concerts including a special organ recital, La Nativite du Seigneur, on 17 December, Handel’s Messiah on 8 December, Carols by Candlelight – also sold out - and A Ceremony of Carols on 15 December.

For more information about what’s on at York Minster, please visit


For further media information, please contact:

Jay Commins – PRO York Minster

Tel: 01904 500698

Mob: 07810 546567