This year, Bradford Cathedral collaborated with their near neighbours, football side Bradford City, for an online service of readings by players and carols by the Cathedral choir.
Bradford City Striker Clayton Donaldson

Nicknamed 'the Bantams' because of the similarity of their team colours to the colourful tail plumage of the bird of the same name, Bradford City AFC were formed in 1903, around 16 years before the creation of the Diocese of Bradford thus predating Bradford Cathedral although the building dates back to the 11th century.

Bradford currently play their football in League 2, having enjoyed a two-year spell in the Premier League in the late 90s. The carol service collaboration with the Cathedral is the first of its kind.

Bradford Cathedral Precentor, Paul Maybury, opened the service with a welcome, followed by a reflection from Bantams Chaplain Oliver Evans, who spoke about the challenges faced in 2020:

“I don’t know if you’re a person today of big faith, little faith or no faith, but my prayer is that you would know God’s kindness; you would know His forgiveness; and you would enjoy his mercy.”

Readings were given by forward Clayton Donaldson (pictured), midfielder Billy Clarke and goalkeeper Richard O’Donnell who is also club captain.

The Revd Canon Paul Maybury, Bradford Cathedral Canon Precentor, in prayer is shown with a Christmas tree behind him

Canon Paul Maybury said: “This service has been an aspiration for some years and, as we are unable to meet in the Cathedral, it is wonderful that we are able to put this recording together.”

“May the words and actions of Jesus inspire and guide us to be humble and generous, kind and loving as He was.”

the Bradford City AFC Club Chaplain Oliver Evans, is shown in a Christmas jumper

Source URL: https://www.churchofengland.org/news-and-media/stories-and-features/cathedral-collaborated-its-local-football-team-unique-carol