Benefiting Charities for the 2024 Christmas Tree Festival
We welcome applications from local charities to be considered as beneficiaries of St Thomas’s 2024 Christmas Tree Festival. Applicants must have entered a tree in a previous Festival. If you would like your organisation or charity to be considered in 2024, 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 1st June 2024. The Committee meets in early June to consider applications and select the two beneficiaries.
2023 Christmas Tree Festival – a community celebration
St Thomas’s Church held its 19th Christmas Tree Festival from Tuesday 5th December to Sunday 10th December 2023. As a community event the festival was enjoyed by more than 12,000 people local to Salisbury and many others from as far afield as Vancouver, Canada, to Victoria, Australia. There was no charge to enter a tree or nativity scene. As in previous years, we were joined by 94 local organisations, charities and businesses as well as individuals, schools and play groups who delighted and amazed us all with highly original, inspiring and creative entries, each of which told its own story of Christmas.
Just as important as the Christmas trees and scenes was the full and varied programme of inspiring music provided throughout the week. Fifty-five individuals and groups of musicians, singers and school choirs, from nursery age to the nineties, entertained our visitors to a non-stop feast of choral, instrumental and folk music.
The Church Festival Café was busy providing a delicious feast of home-baked cakes throughout the week which were extremely popular and much enjoyed. The time and talents of many members of the congregation and volunteers from the wider community made the whole event possible, overseen by a small organising committee.
Entry to visit the Festival was, as always, free but donations were welcomed at the exit in aid of two local charities and the church itself. Thanks to the generosity of visitors making donations and the profits from the Festival Café the church has been able to donate £7,000.00 to each of two charities in 2023, Salisbury Trust for the Homeless and Salisbury Alzheimer’s Support. The Church itself benefits from an equal sum towards its maintenance and work in the parish and city.
What some of our visitors and exhibitors said:
- A beautiful display bringing community together
- Very many thanks for giving so many small groups in Salisbury an opportunity to be part of the community
- Brilliant, clever and very moving in such a fantastic building
- The best festival I have ever been to
- Just gorgeous and inspirational
- It really lifted my spirits
- Thank you. Look forward to next year!
What BBC South Today said
Credit: Pete Doherty, BBC South Today
Entering a Tree or Nativity Scene in 2024
In 2024 the Festival will run from the Tuesday 3rd to Sunday 8th December. The application form for entering a tree or nativity scene will go on line through the St Thomas’s Church website on 1st September and will be available until 31st of October 2024 when entries will close. If all the available places are taken before 31st October 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. Please apply early to avoid disappointment.
The Rector and congregation of St Thomas’s look forward to welcoming all exhibitors, musicians, singers and visitors to the 2024 Festival.