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Dr Williams to say farewell in BBC Christmas special

07 December 2012

by a staff reporter


Westminster Abbey: the subject of theC eponymous new three-part series to be broadcast on BBC2

Westminster Abbey: the subject of theC eponymous new three-part series to be broadcast on BBC2

A PROGRAMME exploring the Archbishop of Canterbury's relation­ship with his cathedral is one of the highlights of the BBC's religious- broad­casting schedule this Christ­mas.

On the eve of his retirement from office, Dr Williams will be inter­viewed on BBC2 about his ten years in the post. He will discuss what Canterbury Cathedral has meant to him throughout his ministry.

The BBC describes Goodbye to Canterbury as "how the art and architecture of Canterbury Cathedral have been a spiritual touchstone throughout his ministry; how an­-cient stones and relics are signposts in the modern world; and what this extraordinary building has to teach his successors".

Dr Williams also features pro­minently on radio schedules, giving a final Pause for Thought on Radio 2 on 18 December, and his last Thought for the Day on Radio 4 on 22 December. His last message as Archbishop will be broadcast on New Year's Day on BBC1.

Today, a new three-part series on Westminster Abbey will begin on BBC2. The programme looks behind the scenes at the Abbey, and follows the rhythm of the liturgical calendar from Candlemas to the preparations of its 250 staff for Christmas.

The head of religion and ethics at the BBC, Aaqil Ahmed, said: "As we prepare for Christmas, it is fitting that Westminster Abbey is at the heart of our celebrations, given its unique stature at the centre of national worship in this country." Other features in the schedule include a new cycle of mystery plays on Radio 3.

The traditional popular Christmas slots in the radio schedule will include the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King's College Chapel, Cambridge,at 3 p.m. on Christmas Eve, and the service on Christmas Day, which will be led by the Bishop of London, the Rt Revd Richard Chartres, from the chapel of St Peter ad Vincula in the Tower of London.

Each year, the service from King's features a new carol. The specially commissioned carol in this year's service is by an Australian, Carl Vine, the artistic director of Musica Viva Australia.

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