30th November to 5th December 2021
St Thomas’s Annual Christmas Tree Festival is a community event which is enjoyed not only by people local to Salisbury but also many who travel long distances specially to visit.
In 2020, as a result of the pandemic restrictions, we held our first online Christmas Tree Festival. Local organisations, charities, businesses as well as individuals, and schools entered photographs of their trees, and musicians sent in recordings of musical performances, choral and instrumental. As ever the ingenuity of the entries was a delight.
We are continuing with arrangements for the 2021 Festival to be held in the Church again in the hope that the present situation will have eased further and life will have returned to a greater degree of cautious normality. However, it would be wise for everyone involved in any way to bear in mind that things could change and we do not rule out the possibility of a second Online Festival.
Benefiting Charities for the 2021 Christmas Tree Festival
The organisations chosen as our beneficiaries this year are:
The Children’s Society
The Children’s Society provide specialist support that empowers young people to make positive changes and rediscover their hope. Young people go to the Society when they have low self-esteem, are living in families who can’t afford the next meal or when there is no one else to lean on. Refugee and migrant children look to the society for guidance when they arrive alone in this country.
The Society sees teenagers who want to quit drugs or alcohol, who maybe looking after their mum or dad or siblings and find that becomes more than they bargained for or who have been taken advantage of and find themselves carrying drugs to far away towns. They all want a future they can look forward to and the Society works to ensure they get it by working alongside these young people their families and the community creating a society fit for all children.
Wessex Stoma Support Group
Wessex Stoma Support Group provides non-medical support and advice to all ostomates and their families throughout all stages of ostomy surgery, prior to surgery, during hospital stay and aftercare. This might include home or hospital visits by their trained members, or simply a phone call.
Their aim is to work closely with Salisbury District Hospital for the benefit of group members, or any ostomates looking to join the group, and inform health professionals of the need for support groups for ostomates. They provide a friendly ear, social gatherings, support and information to patients at the stoma clinic at Salisbury District Hospital and at other hospitals when requested.
Entering a Tree or Nativity Scene in 2021
The festival will run from the 30th November to 5th December 2021. There is no charge for making an entry. The application form for entering a tree or nativity scene will go on line through the St Thomas’s Church website on the 1st September and will be available until the 1st of November 2020 when entries will close.
If all the available places are taken before the 1st of November the entry form will be taken off line sooner. A few hard copy entry forms will be made available in the Church if that is your preferred way to enter.
More about the Festival
We hope to run a full programme of music again throughout the week. Individuals and groups of musicians as well as singing groups, choirs, and school choirs from both Primary and Secondary schools entertain our visitors.
The music programme is as much a part of the Festival as the artistic exhibits. We are also running workshops in which participants can make beautiful Christmas wreaths and table decorations using natural materials.
The Church Café will provide delicious home cooked refreshments throughout the week which is very popular. The time and talents of many members of the congregation and all the 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. Thanks to the generosity of visitors making donations and the profits from the Festival Café, the church is able to donate equal sums to the two chosen charities and the Church itself benefits from an equal sum towards its maintenance and upkeep.
The Rector and congregation of St Thomas’s look forward to welcoming all exhibitors, musicians, singers and visitors to the 2021 Festival.
Here is a sample of some of the 52 entries from the 2020 festival