WINCHESTER Cathedral has cancelled its Christmas lantern parade this year due to Covid guidance.

The parade usually sees pupils from schools across Winchester create lanterns with a procession through the cathedral and outside.

A cathedral spokesperson said: “After careful consideration, and with regret, the Cathedral is unable to go ahead with a lantern parade this year.

“Due to ongoing Covid guidance affecting large gatherings indoors, it is simply not possible to organise this event fully in the same spirit of previous years.

“The safety of everyone has to come first and we are hopeful that this hugely enjoyable and popular event will return in 2022.”

The cathedral is encouraging people to enjoy the Christmas market which is running until December 22.

Specifically the performances which will be taking place on the stage, which replaced the usual ice rink.

The cathedral spokesperson said: “Local acts from Hampshire, including choir groups, community bands, school choirs, city buskers, jazz groups and more, will come together to perform on the community stage to entertain this year's festive visitors.”

Winchester Cathedral's upcoming events include a daily Advent Evensong between November 29 and December 11 at 5.30pm, excluding November 30, December 3 and 8. This will be a candlelit event, sung by the Cathedral choirs.

On Sunday afternoons leading up to Christmas day a service called Star of Wonder Family Carol Service will be held at 3.30pm.

A festive service of lessons, carols and prayers called A Winchester Christmas will be held at 5.30pm on December 13, 14, 16, 18 and 22.

A ticketed concert performed by the Choral Foundation will be on December 17 and 7pm, for more information, visited the cathedral's website.

The annual Cathedral carol services are fully booked for December 20, 21 and 22.