The Christmas festive spirit has arrived in Bicester with the St Edburg’s Church Christmas Tree Festival.

The annual Christmas Tree Festival in Bicester took place at the weekend and a wide range of wonderfully decorated trees were all lined up in St Edburg’s Church all decorated by community groups and local businesses.

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With the sponsorship of the community Bicester’s medieval church became a forest of 80 Christmas tree’s as it welcomed everyone into the church to see the trees over the three days.

The first weekend of December was full of Christmas spirit as the festival ran from Friday to Sunday with live music, carols and of course Christmas trees.

Oxford Mail:

Christmas Tree Festival Organiser, Ian Cribbs, said: “ This is our 7th year and it will keep going. A lot of the community come in and say they see the festival as being the beginning of their Christmas.”

Over the weekend over 2,000 people visited and live music was performed throughout by local musicians.

The children at the festival competed in a tree hunt and they had to find the small wooden Christmas trees in the church and their prize for finding them was a chocolate bar.

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Children enjoy attending the festival and Mr Cribbs said at the event: “Yesterday morning when it opened we had 150 school children, all the school kids were about five to six years of age and they had their mouths open in awe of how beautiful the trees were.”

There was also time for reflection as the visitors of the Christmas Tree Festival had the opportunity to write down prayers and thoughts to hang on the memorial trees provided by the church.

Oxford Mail:

The festival closed with carols on the Sunday night and the choirs sang surrounded by the forest of Christmas trees.

At the festival on Saturday, Mr Cribbs said: “The event is going very well, tomorrow we have carols in the trees and the only lights that will be on are the lights on the Christmas trees. We expect 400 people to turn up for carols and the list of carols are decided by the congregation.”

The Christmas trees were all decorated by and sponsored by community groups and local businesses.

The trees were available to buy to decorate at cost price and the community have had free reign over how they decorated them.

Oxford Mail:

Now the festival has ended the trees can either be taken home by the community groups or they are left to be sold on to the public to be taken to a happy home for Christmas.

The Christmas trees are so popular there is even a waiting list for people wanting to get their hands on these wonderful trees.

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Mr Cribbs explained the event is simply for the enjoyment of the public, he said: “The festival was never set up to be a money scheme, but a community involvement scheme for people to enjoy themselves.”

The trees are available to buy between 9am and 12pm today with a minimum donation of £5 which goes towards the maintenance of the church.