In it's sixth year, Cambridge’s original Christmas Tree festival had thirty Norwegian pine Christmas Trees on display, decorated by local businesses, schools and groups. This crowd pulling event took place in the splendid setting of St Giles’ Church, Castle Street, with ten days of events and activities. Local groups adorned the trees with lights and decorations on imaginative themes. As ever, children were busy making decorations for their trees; Little Acorns, St. Luke’s School, Park Street School and the Castle School are all represented, and local Scouting and Guiding groups.
Well-known businesses are also took part (La Margherita, Della Kaur, Bowns, the Beaderie, Nord, Steve Lewis Fine Art), along with several charities (Zabbaleen Trust, Save the Children, Namuncha Community Schools Project), a care home (Edward House), staff from a neighbouring college (Magdalene), and trees were decorated by the Museum of Cambridge, Kettle’s Yard, and several church groups.
There was a Scandinavian Advent Wreath Making Workshop, which has proved hugely popular in recent years, and gave visitors the opportunity to make their own wreath under the expert guidance of two Danish Friends. In addition, visitors were able to enjoy a variety of events throughout the ten days of the festival - Advent carols, live music and poetry at lunchtimes, a St Nicholas’ Day celebration with Romanian Carols and activities, a Christingle service and rousing festive concert by CSD Brass, followed by a cupcake tea.
On Saturday 1st December, St. Giles' Christmas Tree Festival 2012 started with a workshop by Charlotte and Mette, two Danes who generously offered to teach the people of Cambridge a couple of seasonal Scandinavian craft skills. Children and adults applied themselves to the task of making an Advent wreath, starting with a base of straw which was covered by evergreen foliage and decorated with ribbons and candles. Other learned how to make plaited, heart-shaped baskets from woven paper, with delightfully colourful results, as the pictures show.
Now in its 4th year, the St. Giles' Christmas Tree Festival is bigger and better than ever, with 24 Norwegian pine trees.
GUIDE TO THE TREES
Children from Mayfield School made the stars to add to our Welcome Tree in the porch.
The first tree and its enchanting scenes was prepared by the mothers of The Little Acorns group and the Livewires children from St Luke's. Its surrounding Christmas scene - the wonderful knitted crib, the mice, the tiny cake stand etc were all made by Janice Papworth, a member of St Giles who helps at Little Acorns.
Next comes the Pasta Tree, prepared by La Margherita the Italian restaurant on Magdalene St,
then a Golden Dream of Christmas party time, prepared by Bown's Dress shop, also on Magdalene St.,
then Cambridge Folk Museum' s tree: The Toys are taking over the Folk Museum!'
In the Lady Chapel you will find the Prayer Tree. Add your own prayer to the tree, if you wish.
Through the arch in front of the High Altar, there is the glorious tree decorated by the staff at the Save the Children Charity shop on Magdalene St,
then the tree decorated by members of Castle St Methodist Church: 'Ring out those bells tonight, Bethlehem'.
Hilltop Day Centre for the Elderly prepared the decorations for the next tree, a Night before Christmas theme with its socks and stars;
followed by the handmade pleasures of Mary-Beth Kinsey's tree. Mary-Beth, a young member of St Giles, is setting up her own soft furnishings company .
In the main part of the church are two trees decorated by schools in the parish, on your left, St Luke's School's 'Starry Starry Tree', on your right, The Castle School's Sparkle tree.
An Angel Tree is by the vestry door. You will find leaflets beside it explaining the Angel Tree Prison Fellowship charity. If you would like to make a donation please do so and hang an angel on the tree.
Next, tucked near the pillar is Powell and Bull's 'Pearls of Wisdom' tree. Powell and Bull sell handbags and jewellery in Magdalene Street just by the bridge.
Past the grand piano comes, first, Link House's Tree, the International Student House , which sends 'Greetings from around the World'. The students have drawn their national flags to carry their greetings.
After that comes St. Augustine' s Brownie's tree with its Doves of Peace,
then the 'Rags to Stitches' tree decorated by Sheila Rozeik for the Zabbaleen Trust. The decorations are made of recycled fabrics by a small community of garbage collectors, mainly Christians, in Egypt.
At the back of the church, a whole mass of trees! First, Granny's Nostalgia Tree, a tree of traditional beauty decorated by Joyce Jarvis , a member of St Giles, with a little help from her family.
Then 'Sugar and Spice' a tree decorated by Ali Finn for Steve Lewis, Fine Art;
then the 'Beauty of Christmas' tree decorated by Janet Martin's Beauty Shop which is at the top of the hill;
then St. Augustine's Guides' and Rangers' tree;
the Crystalmas Tree, decorated by The Beaderie (on Magdalene Street),
and finally the Sensory Tree, decorated by residents of Edward House, part of the Edward Storey Foundation.
The 24th tree, 'Reflections on Nature', decorated by staff at Kettle's Yard Gallery, is across the road in St Peter's Church.
On Saturday night and into Sunday morning, 14th-15th April 2012, the congregation of St. John the Evangelist Romanian Orthodox Parish, Cambridge, having no church of their own large enough, 'borrowed' St. Giles' Church for their Easter celebration. You can view all the photographs of this service on their <a href="http://www.orthodoxcamro.co.uk/sfintele-pa351ti-2012.html">website</a>. Meanwhile, the Anglican congregation St. Giles joined all the churchatcastle churches for a united, ecumenical service at St. Augustine's Church, having celebrated Easter the previous week!
Photos from Philipa's and Judith's pilgrimage to Santiago do Compostella, for seven weeks during May and June 2011
For the second year running St. Giles' Church held a Christmas Tree Festival from the 27th November to 5th December. Fifteen trees were decorated by local schools, businesses and organisations to an imaginative range of themes. Throughout the festival visitors enjoyed the sounds (Opening Concert and Carol Concert), the sights (the creativity of the themes and decorations) and the smells (pine-scented trees and homemade soup!).
The participants chose the following themes;
Dressed for Christmas - Bowns boutique
Tree of Life - The Flower House
Tree of Memories - The Folk Museum
Cookie Tree and Nativity Scene - La Margherita restaurant
Pearls of Wisdom - Powell and Bull jewellers
Love & Joy - Save the Children charity shop
Christmas Prayers & Hopes - East Anglia Childrens' Hospice
Winter Wonderland - Castle School
Angels - St. Luke's School
Hark the Herald Angels - Little Acorns toddlers group
Astronomical! - Francis Jeans, artist
Rags to Stitches - Zabbaleen Trust charity
There was also an Angel activity table and warming seasonal refreshments were served from the cafe throughout the festival.
Once again St. Giles' Church opened its doors and garden to welcome singers and performers, who entertained the public with a delightfully varied programme. A cafe was set up inside the church, serving refreshments, lunches and homemade cakes over the three days in early July. On Saturday 3rd July they even managed a bake sale as well! Zabbaleen Trust ran their charity craft stall.
Photos from the Beating the Bounds walk, Rogation Sunday, May 9th 2010
This took place from 28th November to 5th December 2009. Fourteen local businesses, organisations and groups and schools took part; each participant decorated a real Christmas tree to their own theme and St. Giles' Church was open every day for visitors.
To mark Ely Cathedral’s 900th anniversary, the Parish of the Ascension held an Ecumenical Pilgrimage Walk from Cambridge to Ely on Saturday 18th July. Read a fuller account on the News page.
Saturday 6th June 2009 at St. Luke's Church, Victoria Rd. Cambridge
A team of needlewomen constructed a parish banner commemorating St. Etheldreda, under the guidance and to the design of Sylvia Pick. The banner was carried in a procession during a diocesan St. Etheldreda's Day celebration in Ely on 20th June 2009.
Photos of the Flower Festival held at St Augustine's 22nd-24th May on the theme 'Creation'
During the Cambridge Buskers & Street Performers Festival in May 2009 St. Giles' Church and garden welcomed singers, dancers and performers, to entertain the public with a delightfully varied programme. A cafe was set up inside the church, serving refreshments for four hours every day and there was also a charity craft stall.
Pilgrimage to Iona, September 2008
Photographs of the schools on the former Victoria Road site
Images of Christ Church, Hambantota, Sri Lanka