St Faith's 2011 Christmas Tree
The day-by-day record of a fantastic festival week!
After months of preparation, the Tree Festival opened on
Sunday, December 4th. The
lights were actually switched on for the congregation at the
'Toy Service' which immediately preceded the public opening.
The packed-out Sung Eucharist
was the occasion of the first Holy Communion of three children
of our church, one of whom, Ethan, is seen with his
family in the front pew before the service.
The service was also attended
by young people from our uniformed organisations, who took
part in the liturgy. Then toys for disadvantaged children were
brought up and stacked in the side chapels.
At 6.00 pm that same busy day
the trees stood by as a special Advent Celebration service in
words and music took the stage. Actor Andrew Lancel (once a
police inspector in The Bill and now a villain in
'Coronation Street' delivered readings, and a 'scratch' choir from local
churches in the Waterloo and Seaforth ecumenical group
provided excellent choral offerings.
We were once again joined by ordinands from the College of the
To read about what went into getting the Festival show
on the road... click HERE
On Monday and Tuesday, December 5th and 6th, the church
was open to visitors from 12 noon to 5.00 pm,
although there was a lot of preparation before and tidying up
after each session (switching the lights on and off to save the
batteries, for example!)
Local school choirs
came along and sang to us each lunch time: the first two being
from Great Crosby R.C. and Merchant Taylors' Junior schools.
there was food to buy and consume or to take away...
Wednesday December 7th
saw two Festival sessions. At lunchtime the senior choir
from St Mary's College entertained us.
the evening, a carol service organised by St Faith's
Services Family Support Group, which meets monthly to pray
service personnel and their families, a military band lifted
the spirits of a capacity congregation.
There was a retiring collection for service charities,
refreshments were served and many prayer candles were lit.
On Thursday and Friday December 7th and 8th parties from
local primary schools continued to visit us - either to sing
or just to look around.
Parties from Merchant Taylors' Junior Girls, St John's
C of E school and Waterloo Primary Schools filled the church
with happy noise.
Much use was made of
the Prayer Tree - and the refreshment teams were kept busy!
On Friday the
Festival stayed open until mid-evening, showing the glowing
trees at their best.
Saturday December 10th was the
final day of the festival.
We opened from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm and welcomed a steady
stream of visitors.
Peak time was at noon, when the woodwind and string ensembles
of the Liverpool Saturday morning Music School
(regular visits to our summer Saturday concerts) performed to
a large and appreciative audience.
A large rabbit paid a
visit to the children's colouring corner, and cameramen large
and small recorded the days' events.
Finally it was time to put out the tree lights for the very
Sunday December 11th saw the winding-down processes.
Tree sponsors collected their trees, all the little lights were
disentangled and laboriously tidied away,
and the church made clean and tidy for a week of school
end-of-term and Christmas services.
It all seemed a bit flat at the end.... but at least the team
will have a few days to do Christmas shopping and write those
Reports and photos: Chris Price
extracts from the Visitors' Book
and prayers from the Prayer Tree
page and festival schedules
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