At last the Festival is finally here and at 10am today, Sat 10 December, our Nativity Shepherd will welcome the first visitors to Brightlingsea Christmas Tree Festival 2016.
The Festival is for children of all ages so do come and join us. The Shuttle Bus will start running from outside St James’ Church in the High Street at 10am, and will then run approximately half hourly circuits calling at the Park & Ride at Coop Fiveways on Samsons Rd, All Saints’ for the Festival and then back to St James’.
If you are driving to the festival please use the Park & Ride at Coop Fiveways as parking at the church is extremely limited.
If you have children with you bring them along to the fantastic children’s activities and competitions, which are located in the Lady Chapel.
On arrival you will receive your souvenir programme and also your judging form on which to vote for your favourites. There are some absolutely stunning trees in this year’s festival so you will be spoilt for choice!
The Gift Shop and Larder are both fully laden with delectable decorations, gorgeous gifts and scrumptious goodies to take home. And after all that excitement the refreshment table will be awash with delicious home made cakes and savouries for you to enjoy with a lovely cup of tea or soft drink (our thanks to Tesco Metro Brightlingsea for generously supporting the soft drinks).
And last but not least pick up some delicious hot chestnuts and a glass of mulled wine from our Alpine Chalet, supported by The Courtyard Rooms, Colne Valley Properties and Bumbles Greengrocers, which is located immediately outside the main door.
From 10am the shuttle bus will be running between All Saints’, the Park & Ride car park at Coop Fiveways on Samsons Rd and from outside St James’s Church in the High Street. First pick up will be from St James’ each morning At 10am.
If you are coming into Brightlingsea look out for the Park & Ride signs which will direct you to the car park. The post code for your sat nav is CO7 0RN
The bus makes a circuit approximately every 30 minutes from 10am and will finish at around 5.45pm.
Parking is very limited at the Church so please do use the Park & Ride.
There’s just one more day to go until the start of Brightlingsea Christmas Tree Festival 2016! To whet your appetites for this year’s festival let’s take a nostalgic look back at the 2015 event:
There are only two days to go until the start of the Festival and from 2pm until 8pm today (Thurs 8 Dec) and 9am to 12 noon tomorrow (Fri 9 Dec) the Christmas trees will be arriving at the church.
Over the past few days our tireless band of volunteers have been preparing the church ready for their arrival, and now we can’t wait to get our first glimpses of this year’s entries.
The trees make the most spectacular display, but they are wonderfully complemented by the historic All Saints’ Church, which provides such a serene backdrop to all that sparkle and glitter.
As we admire the trees, make our purchases in the gift shop and pantry and enjoy the delicious home made refreshments with our families and friends, its also lovely to reflect on the incredible history of this very special building and on the important role that both All Saints’ and its sister church St James’ play in our community throughout the year. Find out a little more about our churches in the article below.
Brightlingsea Christmas Tree Festival benefits our whole community. For our visitors it is a wonderful festive experience enjoying the spectacle of the massed Christmas trees, our glorious gift shop and scrumptious larder, delicious home made refreshments, live music throughout the day, an opportunity to meet with friends old and new, and the truly unique atmosphere of our beloved All Saints’ Church at this very special time of year.
For those that create trees its an opportunity to let their imaginations run riot. Watching the joy on the faces of the children who contribute to school and group entries as they see their creations come to life in this beautiful setting is something very special. While for the adults its a chance to let their inner child run riot!
For those working behind the scenes, for the volunteers creating and service refreshments, for all the wonderful singers and musicians who entertain us, its a chance to give something back to our fantastic community.
But alongside the community element there is also a very real fundraising role for the festival. Previously we have reported on this year’s Official Charity Tree from Acorn Village who will be collecting during the event, but did you know that since it began in 2003 the festival has raised some £100,000 which has been used to support the maintenance and development of Brightlingsea’s historic churches, St James’ in the High Street and All Saints’ on the outskirts of town, which hosts the Christmas Tree Festival.
The Festival has been run under the auspices of the Friends of All Saints’ since the start and they are currently coordinating plans for a major restoration of All Saints’ historic tower and the construction of a purpose built toilet and catering facility at the church. You can find out more about the work of the Friends in the article below:
To be the first to see this year’s wonderful Christmas Trees why not join us for Friday Night’s Music Has No Borders concert, supported by Pleass Thompson & Co. This wonderful concert features festive music from around the globe as well as a selection of favourite carols to set you up perfectly for the Christmas season ahead.
Tickets cost just £10 each to include a glass of wine on arrival and some delicious “international” nibbles which are supported by SPAR Brightlingsea during the interval. The gift shop and pantry will be open from 7pm when doors open and again during the interval so you also get first dibs on all the wonderful goodies on offer there.
Why not join us for what promises to be a fantastic evening of festive celebration. Tickets can be purchased from Spirals in Victoria Place or reserved online here.
The excitement is reaching fever pitch here at Brightlingsea Christmas Tree Festival HQ. Preparations are full steam ahead at All Saints’ where our fantastic team of volunteers is hard at work installing the special benches that display the trees, setting up the gift shop and pantry, preparing the refreshments area and putting up all the exterior decorations and signage.
As well as our volunteers, we also have a fantastic group of corporate sponsors and supporters who donate money, goods and services to the Festival to make it all possible. Here is just a little taste of the wonderful corporate support we receive from our local business community:
Brightlingsea Boat Park & Ride is sponsoring Saturday night’s Gala Concert.
Pleass Thomson & Co Ltd is sponsoring our Friday night Music Has No Borders concert and SPAR – Brightlingsea is providing some delicious nibbles which will be served during that concert’s interval.
The Courtyard Rooms Brightlingsea is sponsoring our Chestnut and Mulled Wine stall this year, Colne Valley Properties Ltd supplies the lovely chalet from which the chestnuts and mulled wine are sold and Bumbles Greengrocer Brightlingsea is getting us a great deal on the chestnuts.
French Marina Motors provide a host of fantastic support including helping to set up all the displays outside the church each year.
Tesco Metro provide soft drinks for our refreshment area.
Town & Country Residential Sales & Lettings do great work in helping us promote the Festival with the estate agents boards around the town.
And a host of other companies and professional people provide their services and support the festival free of charge too and who advertise in our Souvenir Programme, for which we are enormously grateful. Click here to check out our full sponsor list.