Church turned into winter wonderland

Basingstoke Gazette: Annette Metcalf, Jennifer Nixon, Pat Purkiss and Alan and Barbara Purkiss Annette Metcalf, Jennifer Nixon, Pat Purkiss and Alan and Barbara Purkiss

A NORTH Waltham church was transformed into a winter wonderland at a biennial Christmas Tree Festival.

St Michael’s Church was filled with trees of all shapes and sizes, with an incredible knitted Christmas tree taking centre stage.

The event, held every two years to raise money for the church, was this year also raising money for Sebastian’s Action Trust, which runs The Bluebells – a North Waltham holiday home for seriously-ill children and their families.

Barbara Purkiss and her husband Alan have been running the event for the last six years. This year they bought 16 trees which community groups then paid for and decorated before they were displayed in the hall during Saturday afternoon.

Mrs Purkiss said: “This year’s theme was paper and card in red, green, gold and silver and the trees looked absolutely fantastic.

“We also had a play, called Brian and the Christmas tree, which was performed by a new drama group of local children. Their parents and grandparents came along to watch and it was a really lovely event.”

Mrs Purkiss, along with her family and friends, made individual squares for the knitted Christmas tree, which were stuck to a wooden Christmas tree frame.

She said: “It was definitely the centrepiece. It looked incredible and everyone worked really hard to make the knitted tree.”

Despite the success of the event, she said she and her husband would not be running the event again.

She said: “It is fantastic but it’s such a lot of work.”

Although money is still coming in from the Christmas Tree Festival, so far around £600 has been raised which will be shared between Sebastian’s Action Trust and the church, which needs a new heating system.

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