Baubles, tinsel and 37 spruced up trees

Christmas Tree Festival at St Mary's Church, Battle.''Paul and Maya McDonald SUS-171125-154318001
Christmas Tree Festival at St Mary's Church, Battle.''Paul and Maya McDonald SUS-171125-154318001

The festive season well and truly arrived in Battle last weekend with the spectacular Christmas Tree Festival at St Mary’s Church, Battle, heralding the start of the celebrations.

More than 37 trees spruced up the church and organiser of the festival, Sue Blackman says there was much to be enjoyed. “The church had a real Christmas flourish,” she said. “As well as enjoying the trees, people were buying presents at the Christmas Fair and then relaxing for refreshments or a light lunch in the Bendicta Whistler Centre.

“On Saturday many families who were in Battle enjoying the Christmas Lights being switched on came along to the church to enjoy the trees and vote for their favourite.

“Senlac Battle handbell ringers also joined the many visitors in the afternoon and played a medley of seasonal tunes.”

The festival, which was held on Saturday and Sunday November 25 and 26, is now in its 10th year. The theme this year was The Bible and Sue said along with the usual groups and organisations entering, the Roman Catholic, Methodist and Baptist Churches also contributed trees. “They excelled themselves with a wonderful array of creativity! There were a few trees with the Garden of Eden theme, and even a couple of Barbie and Ken dolls acted as Adam and Eve.

“The festival brought enormous pleasure to everyone.”

The winners of the Christmas Tree competition will be announced this Sunday (December 3) at the 6pm Advent Carol Service. Sue added: “Do come along and enjoy hearing the winning trees and celebrate the start of this very special Advent season. “The Church remains open on Saturday morning, December 2 for Coffee and Cakes 10.30 to 1pm and again on Sunday 2pm to 5pm. “Voting remains open until 5pm on Sunday.

“This year we are giving supporting the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance and the local Battle Charities.”

There’s more opportunities to see the Christmas trees on the Battle Late Night Shopping evening, on December 7, 5-8pm

Forthcoming events at St Mary’s are: St Michael’s Hospice ‘Lights of Love’ Service on Sunday December 6, 3pm; a Family Nativity Service at 9.30am and a Service of Nine Lessons and Carols at 6pm, both on Sunday, December 20.