Christmas Tree Festival: December 5th - 16th 2018

We held our annual Christmas Tree Festival at Bridport United Church (www.BUC.cool) hosting over 55 dedicated trees representing mainly local charities plus some national and international NGOs from the 5th of December until the 16th of December 2018 at Bridport United Church (BUC), East Street, Bridport, Dorset DT6 3LJ.
Our principal charity this year is Barnado's: www.barnardos.org.uk
 
Since the inspired creation of this CTF 20 years ago by by BUC members Bryan & Kath Chant, over 75,000 visitors have passed through our doors and around £60,000 has been raised for charities: RNLI, D&S Air Ambulance, Red Cross, ShelterBox, Guide Dogs for the Blind, etc, etc.
 
Of great encouragement to the local church community is the regular use of the two small 'prayer trees' by children and adults alike on which the little prayer flags are affixed with elastic bands by those writing their brief requests.
A few perhaps should be re-directed to Father Christmas or the Manager of the relevant football team, but most are touching beyond words.The number of 'prayer flags' each year exceeds 600 per annum.... Who said faith is dead ?
Each day at 12 noon, some of these anonymous prayers were read out for others to share.
 
We received excellent support from the local community for which our very sincere thanks and raised in excess of £4,000 for charity and we were priviledged to welcome around 7,000 visitors in the 12 days of the event.
 
Joy to the World, the Lord is come, the Saviour promised long 
  CTF2017_p The Festival concluded with the annual Church Carol Service at  4.30 pm on Sunday 16th December. 

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NB: In addition a mammoth van load of donated toys and other gift was received by the local officer for the Salvation Army at our Toy Service on the 9th of December 2018.
 
The ongoing generosity of local people continued to provide additional toys and other gifts for the West Dorset Women's Refuge and Hopeful Hampers right up to the close of the Christmas Tree Festival on 16th December.
 
Monday 17th  saw another 'church invasion' by a small of of cleaners, clearer-uppers, handy-persons, onlookers, etc, so as to return the Sanctuary to a degree of normality before the actual Christmas hoidays.
 
Our thanks to Grove Nurseries and their cheerful staff who arrived at mid-day to take away the remaining weary and overworked Christmas trees that had been a joy to so many visitors.