That really is a tree-mendous effort in aid of charity funds

Picture: Malcolm Wells

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Dozens of Christmas trees lit up a church at its annual Christmas tree festival.

Fareham Methodist Church, in Kings Road, held its ninth annual tree festival to raise money for charity.

Churchgoers flocked to the event, on December 2, 3 and 4, armed with tinsel, baubles and ornaments to decorate their trees.

The festival saw 27 local community groups decorating their own trees, which each represented a local or national charity.

'It was lovely. Everybody put so much effort into their trees,' said 38-year-old Sharon Mitchell, of Belvoir Close, Fareham.

Sharon's two daughters, Anna-Marie, eight, and Olivia, three, helped decorate a tree for Cancer Research with butterfly ornaments.

'They really enjoyed themselves. Anna-Marie is in the Brownies and she decorated a tree for them too.

'It was difficult to pick one that looked the best. They all deserve praise.'

Two cash prizes of 50 will later be given out to the groups with the best trees.

One prize-winner will be chosen by members of the public who voted for their favourite on the day.

The second winner will be decided by a team of judges.

'The trees were all brilliant, and we had carol singers to really add to the atmosphere,' said 60-year-old Jenny Chalmers, of Bartlett Close, Fareham.

'It's such a lovely event, it really brings home the meaning of Christmas.'