Christmas tree spectacle in Banburyshire village church draws in 1,300 visitors and raises a huge £4,500
The 2021 Christmas Tree Festival at St Mary's Church, Bloxham enjoyed 1,300 visits at the weekend.
The event, which kicked off Christmas for the village, took place between Friday - Sunday and raised £4,500 which will support St Mary’s Building our Future project which aims to upgrade facilities in the church, making it more usable and practical.
The festival was organised by the Friends of St Mary’s Bloxham. Spokesman Ian Myson said: “It was a great community event, involving trees decorated by 40 village organisations. It felt like the community bouncing back and reconnecting with itself after a very challenging eighteen months or so.”
Footfall across the three days of the Festival, at 1,300, was up on the last festival two years ago. Over 800 votes were cast in the People’s Choice poll for the favourite tree. The top five (from 37 sponsored trees) were announced at the closing Festival Service on Sunday evening. They were:
1. Biodiversity Bloxham (appearing at the festival for the first time and deserved winners)
2. Bloxham Boys’ Brigade
3. The Dogwalkers
4. Bloxham CofE Primary School
5. BYHP (Banbury Young Homelessness Project)
207 messages were placed on the dedicated Prayer and Memorial Trees.
Mulled wine and mince pies were served during late opening on Friday evening. The choir of Exeter College, Oxford – patrons of St Mary’s Bloxham - performed an outstanding concert on Saturday evening under the direction of Organ Scholar Chris Holman and attended by a Covid-controlled audience of about 100 people.
The concert included many hidden Christmas gems including pieces by James MacMillan, Britten, Distler and Holst. The choir was making its first return to Bloxham since 2015 as part of their preparations for a US tour in 2022.