Churches are branching out

FAIRIES were out in force this weekend as Christmas tree festivals took place across Comet country. St Mary s Church in Stotfold displayed around 50 trees and raised over £1000 in donations towards the church. Jennifer Conway, church warden, said: It wa

FAIRIES were out in force this weekend as Christmas tree festivals took place across Comet country.

St Mary's Church in Stotfold displayed around 50 trees and raised over £1000 in donations towards the church.

Jennifer Conway, church warden, said: "It was much busier than it had been on other years. It went on for two days and we had people there the whole time."

l At the Salvation Army Chapel, Potton, Major Maureen Wiffin helped organise the musical programme and the decorating of the trees by all the sections that use the centre.


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She said: "The parents and tots are one of the sections that joined in as part of the programme. The day went very well indeed."

l St Mary Magdalene Church, Dunton, hosted their Christmas fair where kids made Santa biscuits and stalls ranged from toys to fresh vegetables.

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Vicar Ann Manning said: "We were really well supported by villagers and church people."

The vicar explained that half of the money raised will go to a children's hospice and half to Nanyuki, a school for abused girls in Kenya that has recently grown from 10 children to 150.

The church has previously joined with the village school and pre-school to send computers and text books. They hope to raise more cash through donations at their Christmas tree festival on Saturday December 9.

l Lister Hospital kidney fund is to be presented with a cheque for £600 on Sunday December 10 after donations given at Shillington Congregational Church's tree festival.

Angus McCormick, minister of the church, described the festival turnout as better than previous years and said that, as well as the whole community being encouraged to come, non church members also came up from the South Coast, Bolton and other areas to visit the village.

New activities included a nativity tableau performed by adults and children. He said: "There was definitely more variety this year with displays as well as trees."

l St Mary's in Baldock was also getting into the festive spirit. Around 50 trees were displayed having been decorated by local businesses and community members.

Winners were announced on Sunday before a congregation of 200 and, altogether, 1500 people visited the festival.

Merry Go Round Playground won Best Dressed Tree for the second year in a row giving them reason to celebrate at their Christmas Fair on Saturday December 9.

However, there was also a deeper reason behind the Christmas celebrations at St Mary's as the organisers and volunteers needed to raise funds for the general running of the church and restoration towards the 600-year-old building.

Paul Dougal, Chair of the Friends said: "The building is in a poor state of repair and we thought that a damaged, sorry looking tree would highlight our plight. We established the Friends of St Mary's earlier this year to raise money specifically for restoration work".

The Friends group are asking people to join them by paying an annual subscription fee of £25 to be spent on the building. They also raised £200 during the festival.

To become a friend contact Paul Dougal on 01462 491 975.

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