Stir Up a good Christmas at Sheffield Cathedral

Stir Up Sunday Event at The Sheffield Cathedral...Victorian Cook 'Mrs Beeton'.
Stir Up Sunday Event at The Sheffield Cathedral...Victorian Cook 'Mrs Beeton'.
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A festive Victorian tradition was revived by visitors to Sheffield Cathedral.

By tradition families gather together on the last Sunday before advent and take it in turns to stir the Christmas pudding mixture and make a festive wish.

The Stir Up Sunday event took place at Sheffield Cathedral, which is currently trying to raise public awareness about its heritage.

Janet Ridler, heritage learning officer at the cathedral, said: “It’s a new event but we were reviving an old tradition which used to happen during Victorian times.

“Families would go to church in the morning and the minister would read a passage which said ‘Stir up, we beseech thee’.

“That’s where the name came from.

“Then families would go home and make their Christmas puddings.

“The tradition was that everybody in the family would take a turn to stir the mixture which would be passed around the table clockwise.”

The event was run by cathedral volunteers, including one who dressed as famous Victorian cook Mrs Beeton.

Those taking part also found out more about other Victorian Christmas Dinner traditions. Janet said: “We made a huge Christmas pudding and everybody had a go at stirring it. There were around 50 or 60 people of all ages who came along.

It was very successful and everybody seemed to enjoy it.”

Those who attended the free event were asked to donate a Christmas pudding to the Cathedral Archer Project, which looks after the city’s homeless. Janet said donated puddings would be given to the Archer Project’s clients on Christmas Day.