The start of the Christmas season was celebrated with a candlelit procession through Peterborough Cathedral.
The annual Advent Service was held on Sunday night in the historic building, with a large crowd gathering to celebrate the start of the festive season.
More than 800 people were present for the traditional service - now in its 16th year. The service raises money for Peterborough based charity Kidney Research UK.
It offered a chance to remember the three million people in the UK whose lives are under threat from chronic kidney disease.
The candlelit service was a mixture of beautiful music led by the cathedral choir and readings from members of the congregation including Kidney Research UK ambassador Dame Patricia Routledge DBD, kidney patient and charity trustee David Prosser and kidney donor and charity supporter, Christine Davis.
Speaking about the procession, Mr Prosser said: “The service is a tremendous opportunity to draw to the attention of the public, the difficulties presented by kidney disease, and the extraordinary human spirit of the people who suffer from it. It produces a wonderful esprit de corps – a feeling that we are all in it together – and if that isn’t the spirit of Christmas, I don’t know what it.”
For the first time, Kidney Research UK included trees of light as part of the service. As part of the opportunity to reflect on the challenges faced by people living with the impact of kidney disease, people were invited to write messages of support and these were displayed throughout the service.
The Very Revd Chris Dalliston, Dean of Peterborough, said: “It’s a great joy and privilege to welcome Kidney Research UK to join with us in our Advent service celebrations. Advent is the season of hope and I think Kidney Research UK as well as the church is in the business of hope and encouraging people to see light at the end of the darkness.”
The service was followed by a reception of mince pies and drinks.