Feeling festive in Canterbury

an image of canterbury cathedral at christmas
image by steve evans

Canterbury is beautiful all year round, but nothing makes me gladder to be studying at Kent than seeing the city at Christmas time. The lights in the High Street, the sweet log cabins at the Whitefriars Christmas market and the ancient buildings, leaning over cobbled alleyways, all add to the cosy atmosphere. What’s more, even with deadlines looming, I was able to get into the festive mood in the last week of term. I managed to take a break from study stress and took part in the University carol service, which takes place every year at Canterbury Cathedral, and it was an amazing experience.

Aside from enjoying the carols by candlelight, I also volunteered to actually take part in the service, as one of the singers leading an international take on the classic carol ‘Silent Night’. In order to celebrate cultural diversity at the university, each verse was sung by small groups in various languages, including Spanish, and as a student of the language I was able to help out in this department!

The service is always popular and the Cathedral was packed, which made me feel a bit nervous, but any fears left me as soon as I started to sing, surrounded by friends from my academic school. Finally, at the end of the service, everyone was asked to leave the Cathedral with their candle still lit, carrying the light out into the world. And as I left and walked out into the city’s silent, historic streets, it became clear to me that, at Christmas, Canterbury really comes into its own.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas. I can’t wait to see what the New Year will bring.

This post is by Amber Phillips