Christmas Tree Festival 2023 Report

Seen on Face Book “The best ever Christmas Tree Festival”.

The author of this comment is unknown but it was mentioned many times by visitors to this year’s festival.

More than anything the weather has had an impact on this year’s festival.

On Monday 27th when the trees were due to arrive it pour with rain. We had managed to get as much as possible ready in the previous week. That morning team set too getting the sand filled buckets ready in church, unfortunately the delivery was delayed. An early start on a cold but dry Tuesday ensured that the lovely trees were not dripping wet and were in place in good a condition in reasonable time.

Work getting the other displays in situ commenced and time was soon caught up.

There was great fun had by many when they came and decorated their tree, and by Friday evening all was ready.

The festival started slowly, not helped by the very icy conditions on the Saturday and fog and rain on the Sunday.

Those that braved the conditions were impressed by what they saw.

On Friday 8th we had the concert of traditional English Music by Jess & Richard Arrowsmith with Jo Maher There was a good number in the audience, and everyone had a good time participating in the carols and songs that they knew.

By the 9th the weather was bright, and we have a constant steady stream of visitors and some very encouraging feedback.

As in the past many people commented on the originality of the tree titles and the variety of things used for the decorations. Many hours were spent by lots of people making intricate objects that went onto different trees.

We also welcomed again the children and parents from the local ARC and Nursery Hill Primary Schools, for their respective end of term carols and nativity readings.

By the end of the event a total of £2431 had been raised of which £600 has been sent to the Mary Anne Evans Hospice and a further £94 given to the churchyard fund from the Remembrance Tree stars.

This year we had 2 cakes that were raffled one was won by Lucy a local cancer support officer who is going to share it with her ‘lovely service users’. The second was won by Nancy Bradley one of our organists who will be sharing it with her family and friends.

It is estimated that there would have been over 1100 different people enter the church during the event. It was good that we were able to welcome each and every one of them.

The number of prayers on the prayer tree and the stars on the memorial tree as well as the number of candles lit show that our visitors are seeking that tangible support that the church may offer.

Thank you to the many people involved in putting this event together, providing support during it and clearing up at the end.

With God’s good grace we had another wonderful festival.