Christmas Tree Festival 2018 report

02 Jan 19

  

We have had another fabulous Christmas Tree Festival, from start to finish. It was just a lovely time for all. 

 

Perhaps if there was a down side it was the number of changes to people who did trees the previous year and did not want to do them again this year.

 

 This was not a problem other than it was quite late in the day when we got final confirmation and it adds to the organisational pressure. 

 

But as was revealed in the end God made it all happen for the best.

 

 More than ever this year certain trees were mentioned to the many helpers, and they included the quirkiness of the Christmas Quackers Tree and the poignancy of the Poppy Tree with the names of those who made the ultimate sacrifice from the parish. 

 

Also commented on, surprisingly, was the Spring Hill Surgery Tree regarding the number of missed appointments and the impact it had on the workload there.

 

This year the weather was kind and we had a good number of visitors each day, but unusually the last weekend was quieter, probably because it was so close to Christmas.

 

 The seasonal ill-health of some of our helpers especially for the last weekend made manning the rota more difficult and we extend a big THANK YOU to all who helped out throughout the event, and hope all who were poorly made a speedy recovery.

 

This year there were over 130 prayers on the Prayer Tree, and they were all taken to the altar and offered up to God during the Christmas Day service. 

 

They have all be prayerfully read and a random selection were read aloud at our services during the event and on Christmas Day.

 

Financially we had a great success, up on last year and although not a record we did make £2634.50. £530 has been sent to the Mary Ann Evans Hospice, also £95.50 from the stars on the Remembrance Tree has been added to the Church Yard Fund.

  

 The concert of traditional English music on the 21st was attended by over 70 people and was much appreciated. 

 

We thank Jess and Richard Arrowsmith with Jo Maher who entertained us with many carols and other Christmas songs. This raised an additional £150 for church funds.

 

 As usual a few comments from our visitor’s book:

 

“Some very clever people and a lot of hard work.”

 

“…Sets you up for Christmas.”

 

“1st visit. Amazing. Thank You.”

 

“Fantastic display; well done to all! X”

 

“Amazing display of colour and design. Hard work.”

 

A Latin quotation about Psalm 41.

 

“Very impressive. Touches the Heart! Well done!

 

 As is so often the case publicity is probably one of the more difficult jobs of the whole festival, and by speaking to the visitors it appears to be word of mouth, the signs along the road and yes, social media. 

 

We thank Nuneaton Memories for their help with this. 

 

We wish to say a big thank you to all the people, organisations and businesses who assisted with this event which gave so much enjoyment to so many people.

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Rev. John Langlands

 It is with great pleasure that I would like to welcome you to St Laurence.  Frances, my wife, and I have received a very warm welcome ourselves, so you will not be disappointed when you visit St Laurence.  I am also the Curate of the other churches in Ansley and Arley – St John’s, St Michael’s and St Wilfrid’s.

Being in a rural and farming area in the north part of Coventry Diocese is like coming home for us.  A number of years ago I pastored a church in rural Norfolk which was mainly surrounded by arable farms with some pigs and chickens.  The strong sense of community life was something very special.  This should be particularly valued in these days when many folk live such individual, separate and often lonely lives. 

We have just had hot off the press a visiting card which I hope reflects what our church stands for: ‘You will not walk alone.  Together we are with you on life’s journey’.  Over these next weeks, months and years, I hope we can get to know you better and that you will find Frances and myself not just ‘churchy’ people but friends as well, who enjoy life and plenty of laughter!