Very busy weekend: All Hallows was the hive of industry recently when the now traditional Christmas Tree Festival was held from December 7 - 9. Thirty one trees were decorated in the theme of Christmas carols by societies, families and individuals and there were many unique and beautiful exhibits on show. Visitors were warmly welcomed and seasonal home made refreshments offered. On the Saturday at 4pm a Festival Carols and Praise was held when a packed church enjoyed the talents of many of the younger generation playing a selection of musical instruments. The Youth Choir and the Community Choir also sang seasonal songs and Spanish dancers demonstrated Sevillanas and country dances. Well known carols were sung by everyone concluding with We wish you a Merry Christmas. Mulled wine was enjoyed giving the congregation the chance of conversation. A steady trickle of visitors continued throughout Sunday with a Parish Christingle bringing the official festival to a close. Each person received a Christingle, which had been made earlier by Junior Church and friends, and when lit the lights were turn out and Away in a Manger was sung, it was magical. A collection was taken for The Children’s Society and again the congregation enjoyed refreshments and the opportunity to look at the Trees more closely. The Rev Chris thanked everyone who had helped organise, decorate, steward and bake for this wonderful event. All Hallows will be finally cleaned and decorated for Christmas on Saturday from 8.30am and all help will be gratefully appreciated. On Christmas Eve a Crib Service will be held at 5pm when all children and adults are very welcome. At 11.30pm a Midnight Holy Communion, for the adults who can enjoy the peace and tranquillity and true meaning of this important time. On Christmas Day at 10.30am a Christmas Morning Family Holy Communion will be held for everyone.
Bardsey Neighbourhood Plan Update: thanks to all who went along to the Public Meeting in November. Over 200 questionnaires were completed expressing views about the development sites, but this only represents 10 per cent of Bardsey residents, which is a little disappointing. Comments helped to confirm not only some earlier views but also set the Steering Committee to review it’s thinking in several areas. These are being analysed and will be reported on the website. This is www.bardseyvillage.org.uk They are to start a housing needs survey to enable them to get a better idea of the types of housing which will be needed in the village in the future. The initial survey indicated that there was a need for housing, both for the elderly wanting to downsize, and for young people who could not afford Bardsey house prices. The survey will help to put some numbers to these needs, which will help in shaping the type of development in Bardsey as well as the numbers needed. Apologies for the number of surveys and questionnaires but these are necessary to get residents views and the Steering Committee would appreciate more than the 10 per cent of the village they are currently reaching.
East Keswick: Elliker Fields Update – The Wildlife Trust are delighted to report that the village appeal to raise £25,000 to buy Elliker Fields has been successful and the freehold now belongs to East Keswick Wildlife Trust. They have been overwhelmed by the generosity and goodwill from the local community and would like to thank everyone who has made a donation. They can also reveal that after several months of negotiations they have been able to take out a second option to buy a further 2.5 acres of woodland and marsh adjacent to Elliker Fields. The deposit has been funded by a donation and now the Trust needs a further £25,000 plus legal fees within the next twelve months. They hope to raise the money for this second purchase through a combination of grants and donations. For further information, please visit www.ekwt.org.uk or contact Melanie Smith on 01937 574140.
May I wish all the readers a very Merry Christmas.