THE community was in jubilant spirits as a church celebrated its annual Christmas tree festival.
There were mince pies, craft making and a visit from Father Christmas at St Cuthbert’s Church in Copnor, Portsmouth.
And the day was kicked off by a performance from The Pompey Pluckers.
The main feature was the 21 Christmas trees decorated by groups and schools from across the area.
Vicar David Power said the Tree Festival has grown from a small number of people in its first year to attracting hundreds over the weekend.
He said: ‘Events like this are critical for the community.
Events like this are critical for the community.David Power
‘We live in an age where people maybe do not see their neighbours as much as they used to and this is a place where we are keen for the community to gather.
‘The church is very much a community building and not a private club.
‘We want this to be for everybody.
‘We held our first event in 2011 and gradually word has got out and people go home and talk about it – it has grown every year.’
Suzanne Davis, who helped organise the event, said: ‘The Tree Festival a nice community event and is open to all of the people in the area who can come together and look at the trees.’
Richard Martin, 68, praised the spirit that St Cuthbert’s offers.
He said: ‘I didn’t go to church for 30-odd years and visited here when taking my grandson to an event.
‘I liked the atmosphere and the feel of it and felt really welcome.’
The church hosted a concert performed by the Fine Voice Academy Choir on Friday evening.