Visitors to Fakenham parish church’s annual Christmas tree festival are expected to have donated tens of thousands of pounds to good causes during its week-long run.
A total of 56 trees were displayed in the town’s St Peter and St Paul church during the display, which closed yesterday.
The festival had been opened a week earlier when town mayor, Dr George Acheson, flicked the switch to turn on the lights.
From the experience of previous years, visitors are expected to donate around a remarkable £36,000 - half to participating charities and half to the church.
Visitors, drawn to the spectacle, not only from Fakenham but from a wide area around Norfolk, came with pockets filled with small change and they worked their way around the church depositing coins in many or all of buckets at the base of the trees of both local and national charities.
Good causes such as Barnardo’s, Macmillan Cancer and the British Heart Foundation mixed with local groups such as the Norfolk Hospice, Wells Community Hospital Trust and the Air Ambulance.
In addition six prayer trees by the high altar surrounded a depiction of the Nativity. Here visitors were invited to write their own Christmas prayer and hang it on one of the trees.
But the generosity of people at Christmas did not end with their remarkable cash contribution.
Reader Elaine Burbidge said: “People also leave gifts of food which will go to a food bank.
“We think all the trees are very beautiful and we thank all our sponsors for making this festival another success.”
The trees were donated by the Fakenham Garden Centre.