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Ely Cathedral (EVE)

From To Details  
14:00 17:45 Car parking available at various sites Ely Cathedral
14:00 17:45 Registration in marquee on St Cross Green, close to Cathedral North Door
14:30 17:45 Robing in marquee on St Cross Green, close to Ely Cathedral North Door; official photography in Lady Chapel, Ely Cathedral - approach by external North Door.
14:30 18:00 Refreshments available at King's School Hayward Theatre site
17:30 18:15 Graduates and guests admitted to the Cathedral
18:00 18:30 Programme of Organ Music
18:30 19:45 Ceremony takes place
19:45 20:15 All hired robes to be returned

On the day 

Arrival and registration

Please register from 14:00 in the marquee on St Cross Green on the north side of the Cathedral. Your entry tickets and any further information will be given to you at registration. You are advised to arrive early and no later than 17:30 to allow sufficient time for collection of robes, for photography and for refreshments. 


Graduate robing will take place in a marquee on St. Cross Green on the north side of the Cathedral. Gowns will be available from 14:30. 

Details of gowns can be found under Helpful info.

The ceremony

A programme of organ music commences approximately 30 minutes before the ceremony and you are asked to be in your seats no later than fifteen minutes before the start of the ceremony. The ceremony is expected to last approximately one and a quarter hours. 


If your name has an unusual pronunciation that you would like to clarify for your on-stage presentation, please telephone Learner Support on +44 (0) 1223 361851 as soon as possible to ensure that the Graduate Presenter pronounces your name correctly.


The photographers will be available from 14:30 until 17:45 (scrolls are provided). 

Details of the service provided by Ede and Ravenscroft Photography Ltd can be found under Helpful info.


Refreshment vouchers will be given to you at registraton and these will allow you to collect a small picnic lunch or tea. Other items, such as strawberries and cream, champagne, tea and coffee, will be available for cash purchase if required.


Provisions can be made for graduates and any guests that have disabilities. Please contact Learner Support at the Regional Centre (Tel: +44 (0) 1223 361851) before the ceremony to discuss any special arrangements.

A ramp and steps will be provided for access to the stage. Graduates using a wheelchair or with mobility difficulties may choose to process on to the stage or to consider an auditorium presentation. 

Venue information


Please note, all information about this ceremony is being sent in a link via e-mail. If we do not hold an email address on file for you this mailing will be posted. If you require further information before the day please contact the Ceremonies Centre on +44 (0)1908 541079.


Ely Cathedral
Chapter House
The College
CB7 4DL 


On the day contacts

The contact point for graduates on the day of the ceremony will be The Open University information desk in the Cathedral.  

The location 

Ely Cathedral

Ely Cathedral is famous for its Norman nave, early 14th Century Octagon and Lady Chapel. Its majestic interior, the striking contrast between the solemnity of the nave with the light flooding into the transept from the Octagon, provides a memorable setting for our degree ceremony and the celebration of the achievements of our graduates.  Entrance to the Cathedral is free to graduates and their guests throughout the day.  The Cathedral is open to the public before the ceremony, so please take care of your belongings.

It can feel extremely cold in the Cathedral, even on a warm day, so we would advise you and your guests to dress accordingly.

Graduates and guests may wish to know that there will be a science festival taking place in Ely during May and June and you may wish to allow some extra time to visit some of the exhibits in the Lady Chapel. The Lady Chapel will be open for visitors until midday. For more information please visit

Overnight stay

Details of accommodation in the area, and other information, is available on the East Cambs District Council website:


Getting there

By car

Ely is situated on the A10 with easy access to the M11. It is 16 miles from Cambridge, 36 miles from Peterborough, 55 miles from Norwich and 72 miles from London. 


Parking space in Ely city centre is very limited on a Saturday. We therefore hope to arrange additional parking areas for the ceremony day. Once confirmed, further information will be provided.

By train

Ely railway station is situated on the south side of Ely and approximately 10 minutes' walk from the Cathedral. There are a few taxis but no regular bus service. There are regular train services from London, Peterborough, Norwich and King's Lynn. 

By bus or coach

There is no local regular bus service. 



The Refectory at the Old Palace will be open on ceremony day for sales of light refreshments. There are also a number of cafes and restaurants within easy reach of the Cathedral; they are likely to be busy, so you may wish to book in advance. Further information can be found at:


The ground floor of the Cathedral is wheelchair accessible but only the South Door has level access for entry.  If you or one of your guests will be using a wheelchair for the ceremony it is important that you let us know immediately, unless you did so when you booked your tickets.

A ramp and steps will be provided for access to the stage.  Graduates using a wheelchair or with mobility difficulties have the option to process on to the stage or to consider an auditorium presentation.  Graduates who have declared mobility issues will be contacted to discuss their preference.

A hearing loop is available in the transepts and crossing of the Cathedral.

If you have any additional requirements for yourself or your guests and did not declare this when booking your ceremony please contact the ceremony office on +44 (0)1908 653003 (option 2) immediately to discuss any special arrangements.


Public toilets and facilities for people with disabilities are available in the Cathedral. Additional toilets are available at the King's Ely Hayward Theatre and the Old Palace. The location of toilets are shown on your map. 


There are no cloakroom facilities at Ely Cathedral. 

First aid

The St John Ambulance has kindly agreed to provide a first-aid service for the ceremony. Their post will be inside the main West Door of the Cathedral. 

Emergency evacuation

In the event of an emergency the instructions of the Cathedral officers should be followed. 


Although it's natural for graduates to wish all their family to be in attendance at the celebration of their academic success, a degree ceremony is quite lengthy and can be rather boring for small children.  If you do decide to bring young children, we ask that out of consideration to other guests, you remove them from the Cathedral should they become restless during the speeches.