Swaffham church boosted ahead of Christmas tree festival

St Peter and St Paul Church, Swaffham, Christmas Bazaar'Potential customer, Sylvia Murray (right), looks for a Christmas presents at the arts and crafts tall run by Ian and Maggie Clews ANL-151130-171845001

St Peter and St Paul Church, Swaffham, Christmas Bazaar'Potential customer, Sylvia Murray (right), looks for a Christmas presents at the arts and crafts tall run by Ian and Maggie Clews ANL-151130-171845001

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As preparations continue for Swaffham’s Christmas tree festival, which opens this weekend, supporters of the building hosting it have been boosting its funds.

Crowds flocked to the St Peter and St Paul Church on Saturday for its seasonal bazaar aiming to pick up a festive bargain or two.

St Peter and St Paul Church, Swaffham, Christmas Bazaar'Geraldine Ellison took advertising the Christmas Bazaar onto the streets of Swaffham ANL-151130-171856001

St Peter and St Paul Church, Swaffham, Christmas Bazaar'Geraldine Ellison took advertising the Christmas Bazaar onto the streets of Swaffham ANL-151130-171856001

And they were not disappointed as the event, organised by Anne Handley and Sheila Fowler, was filled with stalls piled high with everything Christmassy.

The stalls were manned by members of the congregation and it is anticipated that around £2,000 will be raised for church funds.

Presents, decorations and cards sat alongside books and a White Elephant, arts and crafts and a cake stall.

There were also several competitions to help raise even more money for the church, while foot-weary customers were also able to sit down afterwards and enjoy light refreshments as a reward for their endeavours.

“It’s marvellous all the work that has gone into it in the weeks leading up to Christmas,” said the vicar, the Rev Tim Laws, praising everyone who had worked hard to make the day possible.

“The bazaar itself is also great fun - which is what fundraising should be,” he added.

Attention now turns to the church’s fifth annual Christmas tree festival, which opens at 10am this Saturday and runs until next Saturday, December 12.

Around 30 trees are being decorated by charity and community groups, who are all raising funds for their own work by taking part.

The town’s Infant School, Junior Academy and Sacred Heart School – are taking part, along with the Rainbows pre-school and the Air Training Corps squadron.

Other trees are being decorated by members of groups including the town’s Rotary club, Lionesses, Royal British Legion and Community Hospital League of Friends.

And the charities benefiting from the proceeds will include the Swaffham and Litcham Home Hospice, the Merle Boddy Centre, Macmillan Cancer Support, the RNLI, the Children’s Society and Christian Aid

There is also a tree of prayer, which will be decorated by the church itself, while a tree prepared by staff from the Just Hair salon in Station Street will raise funds for the church.

The church will open from 10am until 4pm each day during the festival and refreshments will be available.

For more information, contact organiser Gill Creed on 01760 721237 or 01760 724559.