Blackburn Cathedral chosen by the BBC to broadcast services this Christmas

Published Monday 12 December 2022 at 14:38

Blackburn Cathedral has been chosen by the BBC to host its Christmas services and for the first time in the corporation’s history it will be broadcasting at the same venue on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Film crews will be in Blackburn to film the congregational hymns as part of the BBC’s Christmas services and Council Leader Phil Riley said it’s a huge coup for the town as millions of viewers will be able to tune in and watch the live performances from the borough on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

The BBC said Blackburn Cathedral was picked for its features of “modern gothic splendour” and the fact that it has been used for Christian worship for more than 1,300 years.

Christmas trees will be installed to make sure the 1826 consecrated building looks at its very best and is more positive promotion for the town following last year’s BBC Two production from celebrity choirmaster Gareth Malone who filmed Blackburn Sings Christmas.

Council Leader Phil Riley, said:

We are known for our huge sense of community spirit in Blackburn with Darwen and this is an ideal opportunity to come together at this time of year. The BBC have never done live broadcasts of both Christmas services from the same location before so it is a real coup for the town and the cathedral and something to be proud of. The investment in the Cathedral Quarter has turned the grounds into something spectacular and we should be proud to show off the remarkable work that has been done with the rest of the country on live television.

The broadcast for Midnight Mass will start on Christmas Eve and the final service on Christmas Day takes place with a choir, live music and a nativity. Raise the Christmas Spirit.

The Dean of Blackburn will preside and introduce the service with the Bishop of Burnley preaching.

Reverend Peter Howell-Jones, said:

Christmas provides a wonderful opportunity each years to think again about life and faith and we are delighted as a team at Blackburn Cathedral to be able to work with the BBC in bringing something of the joy and hope of Christmas to millions of people across the country this year. To be asked to broadcast services live both Christmas Eve and Christmas Morning on BBC One in the same year is a rare privilege and provides us with a wonderful opportunity to approach each service in a slightly different format.

BBC broadcasting from the Cathedral is also a wonderful opportunity for Blackburn and the wider area. Both services are open to all and we look forward to welcoming folk from across the county. If you have never been to a Christmas service at the Cathedral, why not join us this year.

Services are at 11.45pm on Christmas Eve and 10.00am on Christmas morning. Please arrive about half an hour before to be guaranteed a seat.

To book a place via Eventbrite visit

This site uses cookies. Find out more about this site’s cookies.