The Christmas Tree Festival returns to Worcester Cathedral this weekend.

Glittering Christmas trees will line the cathedral’s medieval cloister, decorated by local schools, charities, businesses and community groups.

Last year the cathedral welcomed thousands of visitors to view the displays and it is expected to be just as popular again this year.

Canon Stephen Edwards, looking forward to his first Christmas Tree festival in Worcester, said: “I hope the trees will encourage the community to come together and inspire joy, awe and love in a place which has been the centre of a community and place of meeting since its foundation.”

This year’s festival has 89 entries, down on last year because work being done means that one site of the cloister quadrangle has had to be closed to visitors.

The Christmas Tree Festival is free to enter, but visitors are urged to make donations via the donation points in the cloister to support the cathedral and its work.

The festival runs daily from Saturday, December 7, to Wednesday, January 1, and no tickets are required.

It will be officially opened by Worcester’s Mayor, Allah Ditta, at a private event on Friday evening.

For those hoping to take part next year, applications are invited in the first week of June 2020.

Follow the cathedral website and social media to ensure you don’t miss out. This year over half the places were snapped up within the first week.

Worcester Cathedral was founded in 680. Saint Oswald then built another cathedral in 983, and established a monastery attached to it.

Saint Wulfstan, who rebuilt the cathedral in 1084, began the present building.

During Anglo-Saxon times, Worcester was one of the most important monastic cathedrals in the country. It was a centre of great learning, which continued into the later middle ages, when Worcester’s Benedictine monks went to university to study a variety of subjects.