Christmas Tree Festival at St Kentigern’s Church

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Friday 30th November, Saturday 1st December and Sunday 2nd December 2012

Photos here



First and foremost the Festival was tremendous fun with a community spirit that
brought joy and laughter to both those who worked so hard in bringing it all together, and also the 1,000+ visitors who “stood back in amazement”!
I want to start by thanking the 30+ tree sponsors and decorators. The imagination
and flair shown in interpreting Christmas carols were amazing. It was also lovely to
see the pews full of people enjoying the refreshments organised by Mary Cowx and
Elsie Bell, plus other helpers. Then there were the teams sitting by the door radiator
getting warm, then cold, then warm again, collecting the money as the people
streamed in. Thank you.
My thanks go to Joan Gate, Margaret and Richard Brough, and Carol and Geoff
Hine – five very talented people who, on the Friday evening, provided practical demonstrations in making Christmas decorations, exciting mince pies and Cumberland
sausage twirls, mulled wine, origami stars and personally crafted Christmas cards,
and egg nog! As each presentation was in progress an army of helpers distributed
samples of the finished products. That was apart from the origami where everyone
had a sheet of A4 to make their own star. Wonderful!
Thank you to Carol Hine and her helpers who, on the Saturday morning, entertained
the 22 children who attended a Christmas Workshop and thoroughly enjoyed 2 hours
of making Christmassy things to take home.
On the Saturday evening our very own Caldbeck Players provided a wonderful lighthearted and very enjoyable medley of Christmas words and music that brought tears of laughter but also the challenge of “God with us”. But I’ll never forget the fairy
and the goose. If you were not there … ask someone who was … words fail me! The
whole evening was brilliant and my thanks go to the whole cast and especially Ken
and Pauline Woolfenden for masterminding the production.
The weekend closed with an Advent Service of “Darkness to Light”. This began
with the church illuminated by a single candle, representing the Light of God, Jesus
Christ, coming into the world. As the service progressed this light spread throughout
the whole congregation until everyone spilled over into the churchyard, with their
own candle, taking the light of Christ into the world. My particular thanks go to the
Lesson readers (Toby Collard, Antoinette Ward, Rosemary Bailey, Anne Cartmell,
Geoff Hine and Norman Robinson) and the candle-lighters comprising the Collard
and Bolton families.
I want to express my deepest thanks to Margaret and Richard Brough. Margaret was
the Artistic Director (and much, much more) and Richard did so much behind the
scenes. Without these two people the Festival would not have been the tremendous
success it was.
The weekend put the “fun” into fund-raising and raised over £3,300 for church
funds. In addition the Sunday night offering (£390) will be sent to the Church Mission Society.
And finally, my thanks go to all who visited the church over the Festival. I enjoyed
meeting so many from our community and further afield.
Malcolm Riches