THERE was plenty of festive magic and sparkle at St John’s Chapel in Chichester when it hosted a Christmas tree festival.
The event was organised by the Chichester Friends of Chestnut Tree House Children’s Hospice and raised more than £2,000 for the hospice, which provides care and support for children with life limiting illnesses and their families.
There were around 20 magnificently decorated trees, which members of the public were able to come and see in return for a donation to the hospice.
The event was launched last Wednesday by Chichester author Kate Mosse, and throughout the week children from Kingsham Primary School, Portfield School, Prebendal School, Westbourne House and Jessie Younghusband Primary School were invited to sing in the church.
Margaret Phillips of the Friends group said: “People were going through quite nicely and we are delighted with the amount raised. The children singing was lovely, they came at different times during the week and their parents came and had a lovely time.
“This year we were lucky because a lot of the businesses decorated their own trees, the Chichester Camera Club did amazing things with theirs.
The allotment group put vegetables around it at the bottom and then put seed packets in the tree.
“A lady who makes curtains, her husband made some little windows and she made some curtains and the Weald and Downland Open Air museum decorated theirs with little houses and things.
“It looked spectacular and we feel so sorry for all those people that missed it. It’s hard work but we enjoyed it.”
Other businesses and organisations sponsoring a tree included Broyle Close residents, Chichester Women’s Business Network, and Co-operative Funeral Directors.
Mrs Phillips said the group, formed around eight years ago to raise vital funds for the hospice, hoped to hold the event again in two years time.
This is the second time the group has held a Christmas tree festival.
For more information about the hospice and its work see www.chestnut-tree-house.org.uk or call 01903 871820.