For several years now Holy Cross Church in Uckfield, E.Sussex has held a Festival of Christmas Trees. In 2016 over 80 trees were decorated by various local organisations, individuals, businesses etc. 5,600+ people attended the Festival this time which has grown in publicity year-on-year. Folk come from far and wide to marvel at the range and beauty of the decorated trees which fill the side pews, the chancel, the side chapels and the gallery. The festival spans three days from Friday – Sunday each year coinciding with Uckfield’s Late Night Shopping event on Friday evening. Entry is by donation and a raffle is also run to raise funds for the day-to-day running costs of the church and for charity. The festival culminates with a service of thanksgiving on a Sunday afternoon.
Hot meals, snacks, mulled wine and beverages are provided throughout the opening hours of the festival, in the adjacent Belmont Centre run by a band of willing volunteers from the church. The trees are delivered on Monday, then erected in situ and the electric wiring installed by a further band of volunteers. A variety of musical entertainment is put on across the three days and local primary schools bring their children to admire the spectacular event.
Holy Cross Ladies Fellowship again decorated theirs with images of goats and provided advertising literature from Kids for Kids, which they have supported for several years as their charity of choice. The LF regularly send donations to Patricia and in 2015 she gave a talk to the group attracting over 90 guests and raising several hundred pounds.