NO FEWER than 60 Christmas trees filled Willowfield Parish
Church, in the Church of Ireland diocese of Down &
Dromore. The Archbishop of Armagh, Dr Richard Clarke, came
to switch on their lights, which shone for several days in the
middle of December.
They had been decorated in two different ways: 20 or so
artificial trees focused on common seasonal traditions, such as
Advent calendars, snowmen, and Santa; but the natural trees - which
made up the majority - took up the Christmas story, with scenes and
characters from the nativity, as well as illustrated Bible verses
and themes of Christmas carols.
Dr Clarke described them all as absolutely wonderful. "The
ingenuity of it is fantastic. It's lovely to see also the move from
the secular idea of Christmas through to the actual Christian
message of Christmas."
There were also refreshments, and stalls selling craftwork,
jams, and chutneys. All the donations were going towards the
redevelopment of the church hall, which is much used for youth,
community, and children's work.