Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Hundreds enjoy Christmas tree festival

Hundreds enjoy Christmas tree festival

HUNDREDS of people attended the 10th Watlington Christmas tree festival.

Thirty-eight trees decorated by community groups and individuals to the theme of “Christmas” were on display at St Leonard’s Church from December 8 to 22.

The festival was opened by the Rev Daniel Thompson, the rector of Watlington, who blessed the trees. Father Christmas emerged from the church tower and there was a countdown from 10 before the tree lights were switched on.

The trees included one decorated by Mercy in Action, which has a shop in Watlington high street. The charity helps feed, educate and nurture vulnerable street children in the Philippines and its tree was adorned with decorations from the country.

My World, an organisation based in Shirburn that supports young adults with autism, had a tree decorated with messages from its clients on what Christmas means to them.

The Friends of Watlington Library called their tree “Christmas Feast” and all the decorations were knitted or made by hand with a turkey, made from a hat bought off eBay, on the top.

Watlington Primary School called its tree “Christmas Jumpers” with children decorating a template of a jumper and attaching it to the tree.

Janet Vaughan, who chairs the church’s Friends group, said 250 people visited during the course of the festival.

“We had a lot of visitors at the weekends and during the week it was steady. We had people from Stokenchurch, Marlow and around and about, not just from Watlington.

“It has become a community expectation that’s part of Christmas in Watlington. People of all ages come who have no connection with the church.”

The proceeds will go towards restoration projects at the church. Over the last 10 years the Friends have funded he repair and professional cleaning of the stained glass windows, the repair of the lifting mechanism of the wooden font cover and the interior old stonework and commissioning the new oak lych gates.

Pictured are, from left, Father Christmas arriving in a cloud of dry ice, organisers Janet Pawlyn, Pat Fewell, Eleanor Holden and Bridget Brown and the “Christmas Feast” tree.

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