Melton’s Catholic Church of St John’s, on Thorpe End, opened its doors as part of the Victorian Christmas Weekend for the first time.
The Grade II listed church, which has a strong connection with the famous architect A.W.N. Pugin, hosted a Festival of Wreaths on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
There was a competition for the best wreath with prizes in four different categories. Visitors were able to see the winning wreaths displayed among nearly a hundred other entries using an amazing variety of styles and materials, from clothes pegs to nail varnish.
The winners were: Business or Group - 1st: Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, 2nd: NFU Mutual, 3rd: Melton Carnegie Museum; Adult - 1st, Jo Anderson, 2nd: Delores Harvey, 3rd: Maddy King; Teen - 1st: Ella Mae Lawley, 2nd: Lucia Pingue, 3rd: Melton Catholic Youth Club; Child - 1st: Lola Bowes, 2nd: Isaac Wotton, 3rd: Zuzia Warzynska.
Frances Levett, parish secretary, said: “This demonstrates how much talent and creativity there is in our town.
“This is the first time we have done anything like this, and we decided on the theme at quite short notice, so we were astonished at the number of entries. The church looked stunning.
“Next year we will be able to publicise it better and we hope to have even more beautiful wreaths for people to see, in this lovely Gothic Revival building.”
The church received several hundred visitors during the three-day festival. On Saturday there were extra events, including two free performances by the string trio “Resonations”, part of the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, which attracted a large and appreciative audience. The church also had a mini fair in the museum across the road, with stalls, refreshments and a free Santa Claus.