Bromham festival shines out with the spirit of Christmas

This Is Wiltshire: Emma and Josie with the Christmas Stocking Tree Emma and Josie with the Christmas Stocking Tree

St Nicholas Church in Bromham has been transformed with Christmas trees decorated by individuals and groups.

The Christmas tree festival that ends tomorrow (Sunday) features 34 trees, some real and some artificial.

Each has a theme and includes one by St Nicholas Primary School, Bromham Wives Clubs whose members hand knitted Christmas stockings while Sue Galley created a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory tree.

The Royal British Legion created a tree based on the first Christmas in the trenches during theFirst World War, 1st Bromham Brownies created angels on their tree from recycled plastic bottles and The Breakfast Ladies decorated their tree with items reminiscent of the bygone age enjoyed by Jane Austen and her contemporaries.

During the week groups have been visiting the church including St Nicholas School, Busy Kids pre-school and the Bromham and Rowde Monday club.

Special services tomorrow include a Family Communion in the morning to celebrate the church’s patron saint, St Nicholas, and in the afternoon Bishop Bill Ind, the former Bishop of Truro, will present a selection of poetry and praise for Advent.

This is the second year the church has held a Christmas tree festival and churchwarden Michael Armstrong said it was a fun event and brought people together.

He said: “The best thing for me about the festival is the way it has brought very diverse groups of people together to celebrate Advent and the coming of the Christ Child at Christmas in the parish church.

“This is the time when the church would traditionally be without its usual flower arrangements and colour and, perhaps, be somewhat drab. As it is, it is a wonderful spectacle bringing people of all ages together into church.”

Meanwhile, pupils at St Nicholas School and Rowde Academy Primary have created a living Advent calendar.

Like the one in Devizes, the calendar features stained glass windows made by the children with illustrations of images connected with Christmas, including a bauble and Robin.

All the paintings and collages have been put in windows of families and businesses in Bromham and are being lit up one by one until December 24. Some are displayed at Rowde school.

Programmes detailing where the windows are are on sale at Bromham shop, price £1.

Hilary MacMeekin, headteacher of St Nicholas School, said: “We have been teaching religious education while doing the living Advent calendar and it has brought the school and the community together. The children are a very creative bunch and have enjoyed it.”

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