A LIGHT show telling the Christmas story was beamed across a cathedral as part of a campaign to encourage people to go to church this festive season.

Durham Cathedral was illuminated last night for the special service, which was led by the Bishop of Durham, Paul Butler.

The Night of the Stars lumiere show, which was projected onto the north transept of the cathedral, featured stars, images from the gospels, and other pictures illustrating the Christmas story.

It was the first time the Church of England had used the technology as part of a service of worship and the event was live streamed to a worldwide audience on Facebook.

A crowd of people gathered outside the cathedral to watch the illuminations, listen to readings and sing carols.

A crowd attended the service to watch the illuminations and sing carols

Durham Cathedral choristers led the singing while the music was played by Ferryhill Town Band, who ended the service with renditions of some other Christmas songs.

The service was the culmination of the Church of England’s Follow The Star campaign, which has been running throughout advent.

The Dean of Durham, Andrew Tremlett, said: “Taking part in the #FollowTheStar campaign is a brilliant opportunity for Durham Cathedral to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ, the child at the heart of all Christmas celebrations, across the region and beyond.

“With the tradition of pilgrimage deeply ingrained in the history of the cathedral, we warmly welcome everyone to join us in witnessing our magnificent building illuminated with stars, offering people a way to connect afresh with God this festive period.”

The Bishop of Durham, Paul Butler

The campaign, which has included video advertising, a celebrity recipe from Great British Bake Off star Martha Collison and a specially-created app with reflections from Christmas Eve to Epiphany.

The light show was produced in partnership with The Projection Studio, who masterminded visuals for the London 2012 Olympics, The Edinburgh Tattoo, a permanent installation at Blackpool Tower and Lumiere Durham.

It was accompanied by a piece of music by composer, Cecilia McDowall, O Oriens, which was sung by the Chapel Choir of Merton College Oxford.

A similar service also took place last night at Canterbury Cathedral, which was led by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.