Alverstoke Christmas tree festival wows thousands

A CHURCH became a sight to behold as thousands rejoiced at the return of a Christmas tree festival.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 12th December 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 14th December 2016, 2:06 pm
One of the many superb trees at the event

Picture: Sarah Standing (161632-8798)
One of the many superb trees at the event Picture: Sarah Standing (161632-8798)

St Mary’s Church in Alverstoke was transformed by an array of lights and Christmas trees as it celebrated its eighth annual Christmas tree festival.

The aisles and nave were lined with a stunning displayof illuminating decorations as guests got into the festive spirit.

They were greeted by the aroma of mince pies and the sound of carols, with 714 performers from various choirs, groups and schools singing traditional Christmas songs to the large crowds.

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It is estimated that around 3,500 people visited the festival from Thursday to Sunday.

Pat Edwards from Gosport said the festival ‘is unlike any other’.

She said: ‘It’s just so wonderful and beautiful to look at. You see all the work that’s gone in and you just think ‘‘wow” when you walk through the door.

‘Every year it completely brings the church to life and it’s one of those must-see events in Gosport at this time of year.’

Ms Edwards added that it’s an event that is gaining attention across south Hampshire.

She said: ‘This festival is unlike any other. The music really makes a difference and brings crowds from all over down here.’

There were 81 decorated trees in the church over the four days, which were each sponsored by schools, organisations and businesses.

Designs of baubles ranged from angels to doves to sailing ships.

Mavis Tovey from Leesland said: ‘It is just so beautiful every year.

‘With the music, lights and all the trees, it really stands out from other tree festivals.’

Around 400 schoolchildren performed in the church on Friday in a special performance in front of parents.