Reflections on the 2013 Christmas Tree Festival

Extracts from the Visitors' Book

Throughout the 2013 Festival, as in previous years, visitors were invited to record their thoughts and impressions in our Visitors' Book. Below are a selection of the many nice things people said about what we were doing.

' Fabulous as always ... We look forward to this every year... Well done to all the tree dressers... Lovely Christmas feel, specially the organ...  Well done another year – keep it going...  great moving event... Every year gets better and better... Brilliant – starts Advent properly... Lovely idea... Lovely decorations and causesAs beautiful as ever... Wonderful Christmas feeling...  A happy opportunity to give to good causes...  Fabulous carol singing by St John’s.  Lovely as always by your church... An amazing experience and needs to be advertised more... A pleasure and an honour to see the beautiful trees...  What a beautiful church... We’ll be back next year!... Thank you everyone! Christmas would not be the same without it... Lovely, very welcoming place. Thank you all so much... A treat to see such a great mix of lovely trees, music and fab refreshments... Really, really nice. Lovely sandwiches. I loved the cat tree xxx... Beautiful, creative trees for wonderful causes. Thank you...  Very beautiful, well done all! Also very thought-provoking. What a lot we have compared to some...  Beautiful carol by Waterloo Primary children, very festive!... So much work has gone into everything. It’s lovely!...  Gorgeous display... Lovely display, lots of choice and nice Xmas music too... So enjoyed the Christmas Fair and food... What Christmas is really all about... I love coming here each year, it’s fab.. Thanks for bringing so much pleasure and promoting good causes... What a beautiful idea, do hope you do well...  How wonderful, thank you... It was boss!!!... Excellent example of community spirit  - and so warm and welcoming... A wonderful idea, so well prepared by so many people, and just what a church should be doing for the community and those in need.'

From the Festival Prayer Tree

Each year since the festivals began, one tree, in the Chapel of the Cross, beneath the Great Crucifix, has been set aside for prayers and petitions by visitors. They are invited to write whatever they wish on cards provided and hang them on the tree. By the end of the week there were probaly not far short of 200 cards covering the tree, with prayers heartfelt, touching, and occasionally entertaining (as in the final one below!). A selection of this year's crop is reproduced below: heartening evidence that so many still feel the need to offer up prayers and think of others in these secular and materialistic times.

  • Please look after my family and friends so they’re safe and happy and help my friend Pritee cope with her cousin being sick (and help my dad not be sad)
  • To help me be good and help others and be a very nice person. Eleanor
  • To God I hope my favourite horse at the stables is always safe. She is called whisper make sure she is all ways well looked after and is ok and is always loved. Elise
  • Please pray for all the good causes displayed in church today
  • Please make poor people better. Also help disabled people get better
  • I wish I could stay alive. Royston
  • I wish that God will give me the best jolly good show Matty
  • Dear Lord I hope I can be successful in my dreams
  • Nelson Mandela may he rest in peace and his good work for unity live on
  • We pray for people who die and we wish they would stay alive
  • Please pray for my friend Sarah to find her way in life and overcome the grief of the past
  • Dear Lord Please help man to stop fighting and polluting the earth with filthy smoke and help the animals instead
  • Watch over my beautiful daughter and help me to be strong in her hour of need
  • I pray that I’m safe forever
  • Dear Lord, thankyou for the warm and loving family I am blessed with
  • Please can I have a lovely Christmas and all of my prayers come true
  • I wish my dogs never die
  • I hope that people are thankful for what they get
  • Please God protect my family and help us through difficult times
  • Dear Lord plees look after my granddad in heven
  • Dear God enjoy Christmas! Amen
  • Please pray for Uncle Jim as he undergoes his cancer treatment
  • Lord please make me loock athter my dog by Bobbi
  • Derer god plese love those who have dyed and do not leed us in temtayshen. Thank you xxx armen
  • Dear God, thanks!
  • Dear Lord Plees make people have homs and food
  • Pray for the victims and their families involved in the Glasgow helicopter crash
  • Dear God our loving father. Take care of those who have no voice this Christmas that they  are loved in their hearts. Thankyou for lavishing us with your love
  • Please keep my granddad alive until my brother or sister is born I really want to and keep my family safe. Max
  • Never judge people for their beliefs! It’s up to them
  • Please God help me to find money on the floor.

This concludes our coverage of the 2013 Christmas Tree Festival. We hope you have enjoyed sharing some of these marvellous experiences.

The Tree Festival index page
- everything else about the 2013 event and the archived records of the first four Festivals