Above and below: Some of the beautiful trees on display in St Mary's Church. Picture by Whitehouse Photography.
Picture By Whitehouse Photography.
Picture By Whitehouse Photography.
A Christmas cracker!
Wow, what an amazing Christmas Festival we had last year. We can now reveal that the event raised the magnificent total of £26,091.68 for our church funds. We are also proud to announce that the collection taken on Sunday night, December 1st, when Hathern Band played during our Carols of Praise Service, raised the sum of £800, which will go to Leukaemia UK.
And our friends at the Defence Animal Training Regiment, based at the Remount Barracks in Asfordby Road, made their "tree" this year from horseshoes and gave us five smaller versions to hold a silent auction with during the festival.
The auction raised the magnificent sum of £403, which has been donated to Help for Heroes, the UK Armed Forces and military veterans’ charity.
The feedback from last year's tree festival has been fantastic and we couldn't have done it without an amazing team of hard-working volunteers. We take our hats off to you all. Thank you so much for going the extra mile to make last year's event so spectacular.
To those who entered trees we applaud you. You imaginations have been running wild on themes for your trees... and we are sure you are now thinking about what you can do to better them this year!
Last year's festival kicked off with our wine and buffet preview evening on Thursday (November 28th) when the Christmas Tree lights were switched on by brave seven-year-old Evie Moore, and members of Melton Mowbray Choral Society led us in singing 0 Little Town of Bethlehem.
And it was non-stop ever since then with people coming from all over the country to view the beautifully decorated trees, and they also enjoyed our wide range of entertainment.
We had St Mary's Primary School handbell ringers entertaining us, Brooksby Melton College Musical Theatre students singing and Jill Wallis and some of her students playing the piano for us.
On Saturday children and adults alike enjoyed seeing our own Queen Elsa, from the Disney film Frozen, in the church and having their picture taken with her.
Dan Newing played the piano and 15-year-old Flo Rudkin sang for us, and Leicester Morris Men, with their brightly coloured faces and feathers in their hats, danced inside the church.
Steve Boxall played the piano and St Mary's Church Choir sang for us before a stunning Carols Amongst the Trees Service on Saturday night.
On Sunday New St George Morris dancers entertained us in the church and the Capella Choir sang in church before our usual Sunday night Carols of Praise amongst the Christmas Trees Service, when Hathern Band played and the Revd Kevin Ashby interviewed BBC Radio Leicester presenter Ben Jackson and Bishop's Chaplain Rosie Woodall.
On Monday we were entertained by local singer-songwriter George Simpson, who was voted the nation’s top wedding singer in June last year. He played both piano and guitar. To find out more about George and his music click here.
In the evening we were treated again to another stunning performance by the Capella Choir.
And that's not all. Visitors were also happy to be able to talk to Santa and to have their picture taken with him.
To all our many sponsors and those who donated food, sweets, their time, love and energy we say a great big THANK YOU. You were all amazing.
We would also like to thank those who donated cakes, including Off the Beaten Path, Bakery Cottage, Paul's Bakery and The Grange, and special thanks to Melton Police Cadets for their invaluable help.
Below are a few pictures from an amazing five days of last year's festival. And, it's never too early to start planning your tree for this year, so make a note of the dates... Friday, December 4th to Tuesday, December 8th. Hope to see you there!
*To view a video taken at last year's tree festival by Martin Brookes click here.
Evie Moore is interviewed by Melton Team Parish Rector, the Revd Kevin Ashby.
A clean sweep for Bill Fisher and Mike Thomas.
Some of the beautiful trees on display.
Beaulah and John Hickling enjoying the tree festival.
Service with a smile from Len Hunter.
Brooksby Melton College Musical Theatre students singing at the tree festival.
Suits you.... the Revd Kevin Ashby.
Jill Wallis playing the piano in church.
Smiles all round from Janet Larder, Karen Balding and Jacqui Wilson.
We are amused... Queen Victoria and her consort.
A young Santa enjoys the tree festival.
The tiger who came to tea... in St Mary's Church!
Bill Fisher enjoys a well earned break.
More beautiful trees.
A beautiful cake donated by Off The Beaten Path...
...And one donated by Bakery Cottage.
Taming a tiger... Phil Balding.
Serving up fun... police cadet Matthew Hares, Janet Larder, Queen Elsa, Jacqui Wilson and police cadet Harry Snodin.
Everyone enjoyed having their picture taken with Queen Elsa.
Lisa Geeson, Queen Elsa and the Revd Mary Barr.
Dan Newing playing the piano.
Steve Boxall at the piano.
Flo Rudkin performing in St Mary's Church.
Leicester Morris Men performing in St Mary's Church.
St Mary's Choir were in fine voice.
Above and below: The Revd Kevin Ashby makes a point during Saturday's Carols amongst the trees Service.
All smiles for Santa.
Sarah Green, Marilyn Wray and Alyson Ashby meet Santa.
More beautiful trees on display.
Success on a plate from police cadets Olivia Frisby, Finley O'Riordan and Matthew Hares.
Above and below: Members of the New St George Morris dancers performing in St Mary's Church.
Above and below: The Capella Choir were in fine voice.
BBC Radio Leicester presenter Ben Jackson interviewed by the Revd Kevin Ashby.
Bishop's Chaplain Rosie Woodall interviewed by the Revd Kevin Ashby.
Above and below: Hathern Band in action on Sunday night.
Above and below: George Simpson singing in St Mary's Church on Monday.
Some of the beautiful cakes on display in the church.
Karen Balding, Gail Lee and Jacqui Wilson in the refreshments area.
Crowning glory on one of the school trees.
A Santa special.
And yet more trees..
The Revd Mary Barr and her Christmas Tree Cross.
Above and below: Pictures by Whitehouse Photography.
Phil Balding, 05/12/2019