More than 500 group visitors attended Salisbury Cathedral’s annual Carol Concert for Groups with a special mention for one GTO. 

A packed Salisbury Cathedral for the special carol concert for groups

Source: Salisbury Cathedral

Each year Salisbury Cathedral organises a special Carol Concert for Groups.

Welcomed by the Dean of Salisbury, the Very Revd Nicholas Papadopulos, group organisers were treated to fine singing from the cathedral’s world class choir, directed by David Halls. 

There were plenty of opportunities to sing along to much-loved Christmas carols played on the famous Father Willis organ as well as special festive readings by staff and volunteers. 

Decorated for the season, Salisbury Cathedral has a giant 32-foot Norway Spruce Christmas tree which was sourced from Longleat Forest and will remain in place until Candlemas in February 2024. 

Recognition for a well-known group organiser

Geoff Allen, Travallen Travel & Events

GTO Geoff Allen.

At the end of the carol service there was a special mention for one of the cathedral’s long-standing customers, Geoff Allen from Travallen Travel. Geoff is well known to the visitors team, so when he announced that he planned to retire at the end of this year they decided to give him a proper cathedral send off.

Hannah Paye, visitor experience and bookings manager said: “I have worked with Geoff for many years and I know we will feel his absence. He has been a loyal and friendly colleague – always a pleasure to deal with and full of enthusiasm for what we do. A perfect customer.”

Geoff said: “It has always given me personal pleasure to attend Salisbury Cathedral events, especially the Carol Concert for Groups each year. Our visitors thoroughly enjoyed the concert and it certainly was a memorable occasion for me, as I’m sure it will be for many others.”

Once the concert and farewell to Geoff were over, concertgoers enjoyed festive refreshments courtesy of the Refectory team and made the most of their exclusive access to the cathedral.  

A view of Salisbury Cathedral on a wintry, misty day

Source: Martin Cook

Salisbury Cathedral in Wiltshire boasts the tallest medieval spire in England at 404 feet (123m). 

A new feature of the 2023 event was some post-concert music played by the assistant director of music, John Challenger on the cathedral ‘s beautiful Blüthner piano.

You can find out more about Salisbury Cathedral’s events and group offers at