A recent and popular Advent and Christmas tradition at York Minster – decorating the cathedral’s Christmas trees with message tags from local people expressing their hopes, love and wishes for Advent and Christmas – will continue this year with a digital twist in the form of the What3Words Christmas appeal.
Neil Sanderson, Director of the York Minster Fund said:
“People loved coming to the Minster to write their messages on a little tag and see it tied on to one of our Christmas trees. Advent and Christmas is a time of celebration and joy but it can also be a poignant and tough time for many. Knowing that their special message would be present inside the cathedral right through until Epiphany was a source of great comfort for many people.”
“This has been an extremely tough year. Everyone will be experiencing a different kind of Christmas. Our normal patterns and traditions have had to be adapted and we have had to find new ways of ensuring that people have that sense of presence in the Minster.”
“Despite Advent being different this year, people have told us that they still want to get involved and that they still want their messages to be inside the Minster this Christmas. So we’re giving the tags a Christmassy and digital makeover with our What3Words” Christmas appeal.”
Inspired by the What3Words app, the Minster is inviting people to try to sum up their Christmas prayers, feelings or greetings in three words and then submit their message to us Their three words will then be attached to a gold star and tied onto one of the Christmas trees in the Minster’s Nave.
Neil continued: “Just as the star safely guided the three kings to the place where Jesus was born, today, the What3Words app guides modern rescuers to those who are lost. So we would like people to try express their message in three words: they could be names, prayers, a location – anything that gives expression to what they are feeling this Christmas. We would love people to tell their friends and family so that they can also have a star in the Minster this Christmas.”
Concluding, Neil said: “We are grateful to What3Words for inspiring our appeal and also to York Christmas Trees who generously donated the Christmas trees in the Nave, which will soon be decorated with What3Words messages. We want everyone to join in, it is completely free. However, we would very grateful for any donations that people are able to give. The Covid-19 restrictions are expected to cost the Minster £100,000 this Advent and Christmas. Public support is therefore more important than ever. Thank you.”
For more information about What3Words, York Minster’s Christmas Appeal for 2020 and how to submit a message to be tied onto the Minster’s Christmas trees go to stars.yorkminster.org