St Thomas’s Annual Christmas Tree Festival held its 15th successful event from 3rd to 8th December 2019. It is a community event which is enjoyed not only by people local to Salisbury but many who travel long distances and this year we welcomed over 16,000 visitors. There is no charge to enter a tree or nativity scene and many local organisations, charities and businesses as well as individuals, schools and play groups had entries. Many of the entries celebrated all that is good about the human spirit – kindness, compassion, caring and support for each other and our fellow creatures with whom we share the planet.
A full programme of music was performed throughout the week. Individuals and groups of musicians as well as singing groups, choirs, and school choirs from both Primary and Secondary schools entertained our visitors. The music programme is as much a part of the Festival as the artistic exhibits. We also held four workshops in which participants made beautiful Christmas wreaths for their front doors using natural materials.
The Church Café provided delicious home cooked food throughout the week which was very popular. The time and talents of many members of the congregation and other participating organisations make the whole event possible, overseen by a small organising committee.
Entry to visit the Festival is free but donations are welcome as visitors leave and each year two local charities are selected to be beneficiaries. Thanks to the generosity of visitors making donations and the profits from the Festival Café, the church has been able to donate £5,750 to each of two charities in 2019, Family Counselling Trust Wiltshire and Care Home Volunteers. The Church itself benefits from an equal sum towards its maintenance and upkeep.
Benefiting Charities for the 2020 Christmas Tree Festival
We welcome applications from charities to be considered as beneficiaries of the Festival 2020 provided they have entered a tree in a previous Festival. If you would like your organisation or charity to be considered in 2020 please apply in writing to The Organisers, Christmas Tree Festival Committee, at The Parish Office, St Thomas’s House, St Thomas’s Square, Salisbury, SP1 1BA before June 1st 2020. The Committee meets in early June to consider applications and select the two beneficiaries.
Entering a Tree or Nativity Scene in 2020
The Festival will run from the 1st to 6th December 2020. The application form for entering a tree or nativity scene will go on line through the St Thomas’s Church website on Monday 2nd September and will be available until Sunday 1st of November 2020 at midnight when entries will close. If all the available places are taken before 2nd November the entry form will be taken off line sooner. A few hard copy entries will be made available in the Church if that is your preferred way to enter.
The Rector and congregation of St Thomas’s look forward to welcoming all exhibitors, musicians, singers and visitors to the 2020 Festival.
Photos of the 2019 Festival
Here is a small selection of photos taken at the 2019 Christmas Tree Festival: