Christmas Tree Festival

Stowmarket Christmas Tree Festival 2024 – This will be our 20th Year.

This year’s theme Hope, Peace and Love

November 23rd – December 24th

Stowmarket Christmas Tree Festival is a community event by the community and for the community. The Church provides the trees and the lights and then they are decorated by different local groups. The creativity and the standard amazes us each year. We have a big church and so ask the decorators to think big and they do. We love it and hope you will too.

Opening Ceremony – Friday 22nd November 6pm. Doors open 5.45pm.

Lights switched on by Charlie Haylock.

Charlie Haylock is a famous suffolk entertainer. He has written books about the Normans and their impact on Suffolk, as well as books about the Suffolk language.

Many will know him as the dialect coach to Ralph Fiennes for teh role of Basil Brown in ‘The Dig’. This was a Netfix film about the famous Anglo Saxon finds at Sutton Hoo.

Not only is Charlie coming to swith on the Christmas Tree light for us at teh church, he will also answer questions about his life. After the grand switch on he will remain to chat to people and sell books and merchandise.

Setting up the Festival – We will take the Christmas trees out of storage and set them up from 11.30am on Sunday 10th November. Offers of help on that Sunday and for the following 10 days will be gratefully received. A hot dog lunch will be provided for volunteers on the 10th.

If you have booked to decorate a tree, you will receive an email about decorating it.

Christmas Tree Festival opening times – Tuesday to Saturday 9am – 3pm

We will also be open for Stowmarket Christmas Fayre on Sunday 24th November 11.15am – 4pm

What will I see? – a church lit up and filled with Christmas trees beautifully decorated by different groups, schools, charities, businesses and organisations as well as families and individuals.

This year’s theme for the Christmas treesHope, Peace and Love

CAROLS (already checked for copyright) – use one particular verse/chorus/line Angels We Have Heard On High, Christians Awake, Good Christian Men Rejoice, Hark the Herald, I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day, It Came Upon a Midnight Clear, Joy To the World, O Come all ye Faithful, O Come O Come, O Holy Night, O Little Town of Bethlehem, On Christmas Night All Christians Sing, See Amid the Winter Snow, Three Kings from Persian Lands Afar, While Shepherds Watched.

Those without one of the words but with the same sentiment: Away In A Manger, Coventry Carol, Go Tell It On The Mountain, God Rest You Merry Gentlemen, O Come All Ye Faithful, Once In Royal David’s City, Silent Night, The First Noel, The Prince of Bethlehem, We Three Kings.

Bible Verses Choose a verse from one of the accounts of the birth of Jesus found in Matthew and Luke’s gospels in the Bible. Alternatively, find a verse in the Bible which uses one or more of the theme words. 

Thoughts and Poems Many can be found in books or on the internet. For us to check copyright permission to use it please tell us the author and where you found it.

Or perhaps you might like to write your own?   

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Number of trees – about 300 trees

Refreshments – Osier Café will be open as usual serving breakfasts and lunches as well as snacks and cakes. All the food is home cooked and sourced locally where possible.

Toilet facilities – We have a toilet suitable for wheelchair users and baby changing facilities within the Church.

Children – A quiz for children to do as they go around the Church and look at the trees is available. There is a well equipped area for children to play. They must be supervised at all times.

Remembering a loved one – There are Christmas trees where you can remember a loved one no longer with us by hanging their name on a tree. We also have a tree dedicated to those who were stillborn, miscarried or aborted and trees to hang prayers on.

Entrance charge – We do not charge to see the trees although we suggest a donation of £2 per adult. Cash can be put in the boxes or you can donate electronically by card.

For Sale – Items for sale include Christmas gifts, Christmas decorations, new items, books, cards, DVDs, CDs, soft toys and jigsaws.

Live Music – There will be groups and people playing a variety of instruments at various times throughout the Christmas Tree Festival to help make your visit extra special.

Group visits – If you would like to bring a group of people to see the trees and have refreshments in Osier Café, please contact the office to book a day and time. Tel 01449 774652 or email ctf@stowmarketparishchurch.co.uk  We regularly welcome groups from schools, residential homes, coach parties, office outings etc

Stewards – If you are able to act as Stewards and welcome visitors, as part of the team, to our Christmas Tree Festival in Church please get in touch. You will be required to attend a meeting beforehand where the role and everything you need to know is explained. Each Stewarding session is for two hours and volunteers find it fun and very rewarding.

Decorated Christmas trees, as part of Stowmarket Christmas Tree Festival, can also be found in Maxwell Brown Independent Property Agents Maxwell Brown Independent Property Agents | Sales & Letting East Anglia (maxwellbrownea.co.uk) in Ipswich Street and in the gardens at Red Gables Home – Red Gables in Ipswich Road.

If you would like to be part of next year’s Christmas Tree Festival please get in touch via ctf@stowmarketparishchurch.co.uk

Dismantling the Festival – If you have decorated a tree, you will receive an email with more details. We would also welcome people to help take the trees down and put them into storage for next year.

We would like to say a huge THANK YOU to all those who have decorated a tree and helped to make Stowmarket Christmas Tree Festival such a wonderful place to visit. Thank you to everyone who has volunteered to be a Steward and the team who work behind the scenes all year.

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