Christmas Tree Festival – 2019

Staying at Knaresborough CAMC Site and we venture out for the day. A mooch with the new camera around Fountains Abbey and the jury is still out as to whether he prefers the camera or his Google phone. Heading back towards civilisation before the light fails we grab a few pics of the Knaresborough viaduct, wander round the castle and after climbing a blooming big hill go in search of a steaming hot chocolate. It’s nearing four o’clock and all the Independent tea rooms are starting to close. Cafe Nero hides behind steamed up glass, we venture into the warmth and join the queue. Steaming cups of chocolatey loveliness in hand we glare at the last customer through the door, ‘Put wood i’th’ole’ it’s piggin’ freezin’ out there.

Time to go, we’ve got a table booked at the onsite bistro, The Wanderer, in a couple of hours and I need to defrost and make myself beautiful before our booking.

Sauntering back to the car, a church ahead has its doors flung open to the cold, Christmas lights cling to the ancient walls. St.John’ The Baptist Church displays a sign declaring a Christmas Tree Festival inside, a lovely lady, bedecked in a Christmas hat encourages us in. In we go, anything for a warm.

We hesitated, it may cost more than a donation, it may be free, who knows, our Christmas lady ushers us in and tells us it’s free. We enter into seasonal loveliness. The church is busy and trees cover every flat surface. Trees made out of trees, pallets, egg boxes, wood, spanners and paint brushes and almost anything else you can think of.

This 11th century church is home to a welcoming start of pre season chaos. With around one hundred trees on show, decorated and presented by different areas of the local community it really is a spectacle to behold, just to get you in the mood, if you need a bit of festive encouragement.

The font is decorated to welcome you in, as lights and trees draw your eyes towards the front of the church and the altar.

Tea, Coffee and festive treats are served throughout the day. People sit in the pews, sip coffee, munch on mince pies whilst admiring all the hard work that has gone into this Yuletide spectacle. The vicar has his work cut out, meeting and greeting his parishioners and tourists alike.

Santa lies hidden between two pews, a tree of marigolds represent a local cleaning company and some serious effort went into making Betty’s Coffee Shop display.

Christmas Tree Festivals are becoming popular across the nation, if you see one advertised near you, pop along, give them some support. For a lot of us, churches aren’t places we visit frequently these days, what better time than Christmas to show them some support.

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