Magheralin gets ready to stage first Christmas Tree Festival

THE village of Magheralin will be getting into the festive spirit with a Christmas tree fair which begins next Thursday.

Over 70 Christmas trees of all shapes and sizes will turn the Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity into a festive forest from November 29 to December 2.

Local schools, church groups, businesses and community groups have used their creative skills to design and decorate trees in ways that interpret various aspects of the Christmas story.

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Sarah Cousins, festival organiser, said: “We are so excited about the Christmas Tree Festival. The church will quite literally be turned into a festive forest.

“Our theme is ‘A Child is Born’ and the results are both creative and inspirational. We have all sorts of trees – some in the shape of angels, sheep and stars – a fabulous brides’ shoe, a lighthouse and even a road traffic tree.”

Church of Ireland Rector, Canon Gareth Harron said: “At Christmas, we often become overwhelmed and consumed with the business of the season. Our Christmas Tree Festival is an opportunity to take a little bit of time out to reflect and celebrate the story of that very first Christmas night.”

The Christmas Tree Festival will take place against the backdrop of The Church of the Holy and Undivided, a beautiful 19th century church with some of the finest stained glass windows in Ireland, and visitors will be treated to a spectacular array of light and colour with all the traditional symbols of Christmas.

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The festival starts with a Tree Lighting Ceremony on Thursday, November 29 at 7.30pm and runs for three days. Throughout the weekend visitors will be treated to carol services and other festive entertainment as well as delicious festive fayre in the Christmas coffee shop.

Admission to the festival is free but donations towards Charlene’s Project and Church Refurbishment Funds are welcome.

The church will be open to visitors on Friday, November 30 from 10am to 10pm, on Saturday, December 1 from 10am to 10pm and on Sunday, December 2 from 2pm to 6.30pm.

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