Brightlingsea Christmas Tree Festival is not only a festive celebration to mark the coming of Christmas, but it is also a vital fundraising event in support of Brightlingsea’s historic churches – St James’ Church in the High Street which was consecrated in 1836, and the 12th century All Saints’ Church on the outskirts of the town which has the honour of being listed in Simon Jenkins’ “England’s Thousand Best Churches” and which holds a very special place in the heart of Brightlingsea’s residents.

The monies raised since the first festival have been divided between All Saints’ and St James’.  In the case of All Saints’ its share has enabled The Friends of All Saints’ to install a security system which is intruder-alarmed to detect any entry to the interior or movement on the roof; it has provided Victorian street lamps to illuminate the path and the handcrafted and illuminated metal Christmas trees that can are used for the Festival year after year.

In addition to the funds raised through entry fees and sponsorship of the Festival, each year an official Charity is selected who submit a tree for the Festival and use it to raise funds for their cause.  

YearTotalAll Saints’St James’Charity Tree
2004£4,500£2,400£1,600Family Support
2006£6,700£4,050£2,7004 Youth
2007£8,600£5,040£3,360Essex Air Ambulance
2008£8,300£4,800£3,200Sycamore Trust
2009£7,230£4,080£2,720Help For Heros
2010£8,006£3,750£3,750Brightlingsea Museum
2011£8,537£4,800£3,200St Helena Hospice
2012£8,471£5,040£3,360Brightlingsea 1st Responders
2013£8,724£4,400£4,400MS UK
2014£9,235£5,520£3,680Reg White Memorial Fund
2015£10,849£10,800n/aBishop Of Chelmsford’s Fund For Syrian Refugees
2016£12,246£5,750£5,750Acorn Village
2017£9,528£6,000£4,000Marie Curie
2018£10,929£8,000£2,000Porridge & Pens
2019 £9,851 £8,000£2,000 East Anglian Children’s Hospice
2020£900*£800n/aBrightlingsea Museum

*Pandemic Restrictions