GALLERY: Ely Cathedral’s first Christmas gift and food fair was a resounding success

THOUSANDS of people packed into Ely Cathedral over the weekend for the first Christmas gift and food fair to be held in the magnificent Ship of the Fens.

Seventy stalls lined the nave and transepts of the building, while the Lady chapel hosted a seasonal food hall, selling produce from suppliers all over East Anglia.

The crowds were also entertained by celebrity chefs who cooked up some delights with demonstrations in the south transept, as well as music and dance from the cathedral choirs and other local performers.

There was also a stall selling a vast array of Christmas cakes baked by more than 50 volunteers and organisations, raising funds for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices; and on Saturday children’s attractions included Santa’s grotto and face painting.

The two-day fair on Friday and Saturday was one of the first major events at Ely Cathedral since the installation of the new Dean, The Very Revd Mark Bonney.

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He said: “We were delighted to have an opportunity to welcome so many people into the Cathedral to experience the magnificence of the building first hand. “It was a very happy occasion, and a truly community focused event, drawing in both local businesses and local shoppers. We are amazed by the response and the good will by all those who came to support it, and we hope that its benefits will have been felt beyond the confines of the cathedral ”.

For further information on all the events and special services taking place at Ely Cathedral in the run up to Christmas please visit the website –

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