Oakham Christmas tree festival raises hundreds for WaterAid

Oakham Late Night Shopping. The Christmas Tree festival in the Congregational Church. Photo: Alan Walters MSMP-08-12-14-aw011 EMN-141012-103941001
Oakham Late Night Shopping. The Christmas Tree festival in the Congregational Church. Photo: Alan Walters MSMP-08-12-14-aw011 EMN-141012-103941001
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A church was filled with colour and light for three days during a charity Christmas tree festival.

Oakham Congregational Church hosted the event on behalf of Rutland WaterAid on Friday, Saturday and Monday.

A total of 40 beautifully-decorated trees were entered into the contest and put on display for visitors.

Entries came from Oakham shops and businesses, charities, community groups, brownies and schools. The trees were decorated to a variety of themes and the creativity and care in decorating and lighting the trees provided a wonderful spectacle.

Visitors were able to vote for their favourite entries in the adult and children categories. The adult winners were the Oakham Evening WI with a tree named Afternoon Tea and Cakes, and the children’s prize went to the Oakham 5th Brownies with their tree Frozen.

Doreen, wife of pastor Trevor Wilson, said: “The decorated trees are a lovely sight. I thought the display two years ago was beautiful but I think the spectacle of this year’s trees is better still.”

The exhibition ran during Oakham’s Late Night Shopping event on Monday. During the evening 30 children from Brooke Hill Academy sang carols in front of the church, under the direction of music co-ordinator Jenny Blazey.

The festival was held in support of WaterAid. The sale of cakes and produce together with a bookstall, raffle and refreshments helped boost the total raised for WaterAid and the church to £1,800.

The Rutland fundraising group for WaterAid has raised more than £130,000 for safe water and sanitation projects in West Africa over the past nine years.