THERE were carols around the Christmas tree – all 15 of them – as St Mary’s Church in Greenfield held its popular festival.
Organised by Pat Bottom, the Christmas Tree Festival sees businesses and residents sponsor and decorate trees to ‘bring the village into church’.
The Right Honourable Bishop of Middleton Mark Davies was special guest for the evening to launch the event at the packed-out church.
The Rev Barbara Christopher opened the evening by thanking the tree sponsors, festival organiser Pat Bottom, the musicians who provided entertainment, and guests.
She said: “Pat has been working exceptionally hard for months, with Fred by her side, to get this all together and it looks wonderful.”
Bishop Mark added: “Thank you to everybody who has come along to make this event so special. I am honoured to be here to see it.”
There was music from St Mary’s School Spotlight Choir, Saddleworth Guitar Ensemble, and a Guitar Ensemble of pupils from Friezland, St Mary’s and Greenfield primary schools.
St Mary’s School Brass Band was due to perform but it turned out to be a solo performance for brave Harry after others withdrew from the event because of other commitments.
Three year five pupils from Greenfield Primary – Antonia Whitehead, Isobel Wood and Daisy Cooper – read poems they had written themselves for the occasion.
Everyone joined in carols and hymns, before Bishop Mark led the prayers, as well as using a festive game of pass the parcel to tell the story of Christmas.
And there was a count-down to the grand switch-on of all the Christmas trees, which adorned the church windowsills.
There was also an eye-catching display on the church altar, as well as a brightly-lit nativity scene outside.
Meanwhile, other events at the church over the festive period included a Variety Concert, a music concert, and the church’s annual Carol Service.