The Friends of Warminghurst Church Christmas Tree Festival at Warminghurst on the 13th to the 15th December is a must in the build up to Christmas, to give inspiration for the season.
The Festival will be open from 10am to 4pm daily and is a wonderful community event, with all ages and occupations involved. Schools from the area will be coming to decorate their trees which have been generously sponsored by local businesses including Tooveys Auctioneers and Valuers, Roadmark Travel and Big Plant Nursery, who are also supplying the trees. There are a wide variety of other participants too, some of whose trees have been sponsored in partnership with a local business. The Festival opens on Friday to a church sparkling with imaginative decoration. The Friends will have stalls of Christmas goods and cards, as well as offering refreshments to visitors, and a chance at the raffle and tombola. There will be an informal carol singing to round off the Festival at 3pm on Sunday 15th December, with mince pies for carollers. Along with some live music, this event will certainly set the scene for Christmas.
“This is an event to which we all look forward and we are thrilled by the response to the Christmas Tree Festival this year and the generosity of all our sponsors”, said the chairman of the Friends group, Rachel Webster, “and especially pleased that news of our last Festival has travelled to attract people from further afield. We hope to build on that again this year and boost our fund raising for the Roof Repair Fund, as well as publicise the work of The Churches Conservation Trust without whose support this beautiful church would not survive in good repair.”
The Friends recently launched the Roof Repair Fund after finding that the roof had deteriorated to such an extent as to let in snow, wind and rain, and affect the ancient timber roof. The work is necessary to keep the structure for future generations and improve the electrics and heating which will enable more use in the colder months. If you would like more information or would like to donate to the Roof Repair Fund, please contact Rachel Webster 01903 891312 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Churches Conservation Trust rely heavily on the 62 Friends groups, thousands of volunteers, the 2 million visitors and donations to fund and carry out it’s work to repair and save churches at risk. As a relatively small charity with responsibility for a large, internationally- important collection of over 340 historic church buildings, the CCT is extremely grateful for any support it receives. The Government funding has been frozen and so the work of the volunteer groups and visitor donations are even more vital. The aim is to widen public support by showing how beautiful churches in its care make for better places to come together. Warminghurst Church (The Holy Sepulchre at Warminghurst, RH20 3AW) is just such a place; a beautiful, peaceful gem in rural isolation, commanding views over the South Downs and Chanctonbury Ring. A visit is always a tonic.
For more information about the Christmas Tree Festival call 01903 891312 or on Facebook, Warminghurst Church, and about the Churches Conservation Trust (CCT) 020 7841 0418 website www.visitchurches.org.uk
Report and picture contributed by Rachel Webster, chairman of Friends of Warminghurst Church.