The Christmas tree festival in St Mary’s Church, Melton, is fast approaching and it’s going to be a real cracker.
Months and months of hard work and planning have gone into this year’s event, to be held on Friday, November 30 to Tuesday, December 4.
The pillar trees and big tree have already been placed and the building has a real Christmassy feel to it.
The popular festival, now in its 16th year, has attracted many new entries including Jeld-Wen, BBC Radio Leicester, Le Solidarity, Midshire Trike Tours, the Prostate Cancer Support Group, Advance, The Amwell, Melton Caravan and Motorhome Servicing, Sandicliffe, Melton Smart Dogs and Rebels Stockcars.
Youngsters have been busy writing their wishes to Santa at the Saturday activities mornings in the church recently and these will be hung on the Saturday AM tree at the festival.
Some entries have been enlisting help from other people. Melton Building Society, for instance, has been asking customers to help them raise cash for The Phoenix Children’s Foundation. They will donate £1 for every decoration hung on their tree.
And Melton Vets, based in North Street, have been asking clients to bring in bauble sized pictures of their furry friends to put on their tree.
There are seven entries this year dedicated to Remembrance and four marking the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One, including that of St Mary’s Church Bell Ringers. Some 1,400 bell ringers are known to have died during World War One and the “tree” aims to honour their memory. It is a bell made out of board on a stand and decorated with bells, ropes, poppies and silhouettes of soldiers.
Unusual themes this year include Peace be the Inspiration, chocolate from Weightwatchers, Royal Tea, Between the Crib and The Cross of Christ, Arborists getting Festive, and Recycled Saw Tree.
Last year Queen Victoria, alias Rita Clews from Ilfracombe, Devon, paid her usual visit to the Christmas tree festival, so keep an eye out for Her Majesty this year.
Another treat is when the popular Hathern Brass Band play music for the Carols of Praise amongst the Christmas trees, this year on Sunday, at 6.30pm.
There will be chance to see all the trees at a preview event on Thursday, at 7.30pm. The evening will consist of a short opening service and the switching on of the lights by the High Sheriff of Leicestershire, Diana Thompson, followed by a buffet supper with a glass of wine. Tickets for the evening are on sale in the Samworth Centre and cost £8.50.
Melton Christmas Tree Festival full programme:
Thursday (November 29, 7.30pm) Wine and buffet evening to launch festival, including opening service and the switching on of the lights.
Friday (November 30, 9am) Church open to the public until 9pm. Last admission 8pm. Refreshments all day. Mulled wine and mince pies served from 5pm.
Saturday (December 1, 9am) Church open to the public until 4.30pm. Carols amongst the Christmas trees at 5pm. Refreshments all day.
Sunday (December 2, 9am) Church open to the public until 5pm. Last admission 4pm. Refreshments all day. Carols of Praise amongst the Christmas trees at 6.30pm.
Monday (December 3, 9am) Church open to the public until 9pm. Last admission 8pm. Refreshments all day. Mulled wine and mince pies served from 5pm.
Tuesday (December 4, 9am) Church open to the public until 4pm. Last admission 3pm. Refreshments all day. The festival closes with prayers from Rev Kevin Ashby at 4pm.