The Church of the Holy Cross was transformed into a forest of Christmas trees over the course of December 6th, 7th and 8th for the twelfth annual Festival of Christmas Trees. A wonderful starburst of brightly decorated Christmas trees attracted people from all over Sussex, as well as from further afield, to visit and enjoy the splendour of the magnificent display of over one hundred Christmas trees. Visitors were amazed by the wonderfully creative and stylistic hand crafted decorations.
This year was very much a magical display and the wonderful array of different decorated trees made it a very special event. A complete cross section of Uckfield’s community was represented by local businesses, charities, Church communities and schools, as well as individual people and families.
ITV Meridian came to carry out a recording on the Friday afternoon and it featured on that evening’s local evening news. Also included in this year’s Festival was live musical entertainment with a strong seasonal bias. Friday evening featured Uckfield’s talented entertainer Bernard Tagliavini. During Saturday morning Jimmy the Juggling Jester made his customary appearance to entertain the younger visitors. In the afternoon John Pontefract sang and played guitar, Tim Guntrip (the Church organist) played the organ and Uckfield Concert Brass followed playing a selection of popular Carols.
Click here to see the gallery of photographs.
In the Belmont Centre refreshments and hot lunches were available, and visitors could also purchase from stalls selling a wide variety of made hand seasonal gifts and home produce. Children could be kept busy with Face painting (by Sarah Moxon) and be creative with a number of craft activities.
A totally amazing six thousand, three hundred and ninety-nine visitors came to The Church of the Holy Cross to see Tenth year of the Festival of Christmas Trees, and it is doubtful whether anyone left disappointed, because there were an incredible ninety-eight decorated positions to be seen and admired. The Church welcomed visitors from as far afield as Yorkshire and Hampshire and a considerable number from across the country boundary with Kent. This Festival retains the traditional methods of tree decorating, but the Sponsors are very much encouraged to be creative and innovative, and this year they certainly excelled. One very special display was titled “Santa’s Workshop” which had been several months in development while another display was a tree that had been decorated to represent a full length dress. Photographs of the Trees featured in this year’s Festival can be viewed in the Church’s website Photo Gallery, which can be accessed via the main Menu Bar at the top of this page, or see the link below. The ninety-eight displays had been sponsored by a cross section of Uckfield’s community – schools, businesses, voluntary organisations and associations, community support groups as well as individuals and families. During Friday afternoon visitors were entertained by Margaret Watson,harpist,and John Pontefract a singer and guitarist. Children could have their face painted by Pretty Fantastic Faces on both the Friday and Saturday afternoons.
Festival of Christmas Trees - December 2nd, 3rd, 4th 2016
The amazing eighty-nine decorated Christmas Trees in Holy Cross Church attracted nearly six thousand visitors to the ninth Festival of Christmas Trees with visitors coming from the Medway towns and Isle of Sheppey in the east to Odiham in the west. This Festival retains the traditional methods of tree decorating, but the Sponsors are very much encouraged to be creative and innovative, and this year they certainly excelled themselves with more than ever hand crafted decorations. One particular display titled “The Santa Special Tree” had been months in the planning and development. Photographs of this year’s Festival can be viewed in the website’s photo gallery. The eighty-nine trees displayed had been sponsored by a cross section of Uckfield’s community – schools, businesses, voluntary organisations and associations, community support groups as well as individual families.
During Friday evening visitors were entertained by Sean Martin playing the organ, and Bernard Tagliavini singing and playing the guitar.
The 2015 Festival of Christmas Trees
Friday 4th December, Saturday 5th December, Sunday 6th December
STOP PRESS. To see and read what is happening at this year’s Festival of Christmas Trees click here.
Incredibly last year over five thousand people visited the Holy Cross Church’s Festival of Christmas Trees.
The planning for this year’s Eighth Christmas Tree Festival is well under way and aims as in previous years to retain the traditional methods of tree decorating. However, Sponsors are encouraged to be creative and innovative, and hopefully this year will be no exception.
A study of last year’s Festival photographs can be found in the website’s photo gallery, and photographs taken show the preparations for last year’s Festival together with the varieties of decorating achieved.
The trees had been sponsored by a cross section of Uckfield people, businesses and associations from within the local community. There were also Trees decorated by Uckfield’s five Primary Schools, and the Community College.
Last year the Church was very fortunate to have the Festival featured on BBC South East today, and to have a live link with the BBC’s TV
Friday 4th December is Late Night Shopping in Uckfield and the Church will be open from 10.00am until 9.00 pm (last entry at 8.30 pm).News Reporter Natalie Graham during the late night news.
On the Saturday morning Uckfield FM will be hosting an Outside Live Broadcast from the Church with their presenters Phillip Garland and Malcolm Newman and in the evening there will also be Festive Activities in Uckfield and the Church will be open from 10.00 am until 8.00 pm. On Sunday the Church will be open from 11.00 am to 4.00 pm and a Christmas Service at 4.30 pm will formally close the Festival.
Click here to view last year's photographs.
During the Saturday and Sunday there will be live entertainment featuring “Jimmy the Juggling Jester” and several of Uckfield’s talented musicians. Children can undertake a Quiz in the Church and then go to the Belmont Centre and try their hand at decorating biscuits. The Church’s Crafty Ladies group will have a stall in the Belmont Centre offering interesting and beautifully made craft items many of which would make great Christmas gifts. Visitors will also be well catered for throughout the Festival, because also in the Belmont Centre there will be Morning Coffee and Mince Pies, followed by Lunches, and later in the day Afternoon Teas.
2014 - Festival of Christmas Trees - December 5th, 6th 7th
Incredibly over five thousand people visited the Seventh Festival of Christmas Trees to be staged at Holy Cross Church. This Festival retains the traditional methods of tree decorating, but the Sponsors are encouraged to be creative and innovative, and this year was no exception. A study of this year’s Festival photographs in the website’s photo gallery shows the preparations for this Year’s Festival together with the varieties of decorating achieved. The trees had been sponsored by a cross section of people, businesses, and associations from within the local community. There were representations from five local primary schools, the community college, local businesses, voluntary organisations, community support groups, and youth organisations, and individual families.
This year the Festival was featured on Friday’s BBC South East today, and the Church was fortunate that Natalie Graham interviewed the Rector and Church Warden, and carried out a live link during the late night news.
Festival of Christmas Trees December 6th, 7th 8th 2013
Wow. Over four thousand people visited the sixth annual Festival of Christmas trees. Although the Festival essentially keeps to the traditional methods of tree decorating the Sponsors are encouraged to be creative and innovative, and this year was no exception. A study of the photographs in the website’s photo gallery shows the varieties of decorating achieved. All the trees had been sponsored by a cross section of people and associations from within our local community. There were representations from five local primary schools, the community college, local businesses, voluntary organisations, community support groups, and youth organisations.
Friday evening visitors were fortunate to hear the very talented Bernard Tagliavini entertain with a wide repertoire of festive songs and tales. On Saturday morning children were entertained by ‘Jimmy the Juggling Jester’, and on Saturday and Sunday afternoons there was live entertainment. John Marsh (from BBC Radio 2) played the organ, Kathryn Anderson, Beth Ellwood and Amy Davis sang to their own accompaniment, and on Sunday there were solo performances by Caroline Reed and Jeanne Russell, Tim Bramly played the piano and Anthony Roberts played the keyboard. Children could undertake a Quiz and also go to the Belmont Centre and decorate biscuits.
|Some photos from the Festival 2013|
Click here to view photographs of this year's festival some of which show the Festival being prepared.
On the Saturday morning the Church was home to Uckfield FM, when Mike Skinner broadcast “Saturday Live” from the Church.
Visitors were exceedingly well catered for throughout the Festival. In the Belmont Centre there was Morning Coffee and Mince Pies, followed by Lunches, and later in the day Afternoon Teas were available. On the Friday evening it was Late Night Shopping in the High Street and the doors of the Festival remained open until 9.00 pm. While outside a Barbeque was held with traditional Mulled Wine available for the adults.