Head to Christmas tree festival 

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By the Rev Andrew Norris, rector, St Mary’s Church, Alverstoke 

YOU may be astounded to hear we’re now celebrating the 10th annual Christmas tree festival here.

In the past nine years, it has brought thousands of people together as a moving and heartfelt Advent introduction to the Christmas season.

The Alverstoke Christmas Tree Festival involves families and friends spending time together – away from the rushing and shopping that is so typical of our December experiences.

Instead, we can be enthralled by 80 stunning Christmas trees and moved by the beautiful ambience of the festival.

If it’s not yet in your diary, do make sure you come along later today, or over the weekend.

The church is open from 3pm-7pm today, 11am-6pm on Saturday and 12noon-6pm on Sunday.

You can marvel at the beautiful Christmas trees that have been decorated by 80 different community groups and businesses from Gosport.

And you can listen to the music performed by more than 800 local performers – choirs, classical musicians, bands and individual singers – as you examine the trees.

Then you’ll be able to head over to our parish centre for a well-earned cuppa and cake as you reflect on your experience.

You can find all the details on our website – stmarysalverstoke.org.uk.