Sheffield Carols at Ryton. (This year (2018) will take place in The Half Moon pub)

There is an area to the west of Sheffield where carols are sung in pubs rather than church or from door to door. In each village, for 2 or 3 hours the whole pub is taken over by people singing "village carols", which are a bit different from the ones sung in the main session outside on the green. This tradition, which used to be widespread in England, has existed since Victorian times. It has undergone a strong revival in recent years, and does not just happen at Christmas. Two of the sessions run on Sunday lunchtimes, starting the week after armistice Sunday. Another starts the same week, but on Saturday nights. A mixture of villagers and people from further afield ensure a high quality (and volume!) with splendid harmonies and part singing. It's different, and really exhilarating.

For the last few years, after the main carols on the green with the silver band, many of us have "retired" to the pub for a good festive sing, including several of the Sheffield carols, other traditional ones, as well as a few jokey ones. Some of us have also practised for 2 or 3 weeks beforehand. If you're interested, but haven't been before, listen to the samples on this page (coming soon). We'll let you know if there are practices this year via this site, and we'll put words on the site (see below). But you can just turn up on the night and join in.

Mind you, perhaps you don't need to worry too much about words, as we do three different sets of "While Shepherds Watched" (Sheffield have 14, all excellent).

For those who want to hear a sample of 'Sheffield Carols, you can download a windows media audio file of Awake Arise here

The words for the Sheffield Carols can be downloaded here as a pdf file

If you are interested in carol singing in Sheffield, a full diary of events in that area can be found at


Next Carols at the Cross will be on Tuesday 17th December 2019 in 30 days time