Review of 'The Light Before Christmas (2023 - "The Manger")'


Having attended last year's The Light Before Christmas event at Liverpool cathedral we were anxious to return again this year. It is an immersive light and music display held throughout the main body of the cathedral as you make your around at your own pace on a marked trail.

Atrium Atrium

As last year, for the event you use the western doors where you are asked to provide you ticket for scanning before being shown into the main part of the church. The nave had a light show in tribute to Charles Dickens with the main atrium show theme being the manger sequence.

Stained Glass on the Ceiling!

In the middle of the floor there were large cushions and a few chairs set out for visitors wanting to just relax and take it all in (laying down and looking around I have to say was quite incredible). Here this is also a small café where snacks and drinks were being sold.

Side Aisle Side Aisle Side Aisle

The north and south aisle themes were around nature and abstraction with the last aisle containing images of the Madonna and the manger.

Tickets were relatively inexpensive at £9/adult. Our timed ticket was for the first admission at 4:30 pm and there was a queue already at the western door waiting to be let in at about 4:00 pm. We stayed for about an hour but many will have finished much quicker as you can simply walk through the show at your own pace…I preferred to take it all in. We parked in the cathedral car park but this filled very quickly and visitors are not advised to use it unless you are REALLY early.

We felt that the show was not quite as immersive as last year with the music not as enveloping. The year the lights seemed to be very much projected on a surface rather than being sympathetic to it - It could have been projected without any loss of clarity in an exhibition hall. Last year the show seemed to make much better use of the space and features of the cathedral. Having said that, “The Light Before Christmas” was still very impressive and looked great. We will likely be back next year…

Rating: “Really good but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2023-12-03

Liverpool Cathedral

Location: Liverpool (England)

Address: St James Mt, Liverpool L1 7AZ ENGLAND

Telephone: +44 (0) 151 709 6271


Liverpool Cathedral large, 20th century Church of England gothic cathedral (not to be confused with the nearby, modern Roman Catholic “Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral”) on the top of a hill overlooking the core area of Liverpool. It hosts normal church services and is free to visit but also hosts special events throughout the year.

There is a large on-site outdoor car park for visitors but you easily walk up to it or choose from multiple public transport options.