China / World

Church makes early start on Christmas spirit with tree festival

By Xinhua in London (China Daily) Updated: 2016-12-06 07:12

The festive spirit has started early at a church in England after the building was crammed with 1,378 Christmas trees.

St Mary's Church in Melton Mowbray, in the central county of Leicestershire, is thought to have set a new record with the number of trees on show.

It beat its own record, set last year, by adding an extra 124 trees this year.

Thousands of people have poured through the doors of the church since the festival started on Saturday, with more crowds expected until Tuesday, when the event ends.

Officials at the church describe it as the largest Christmas tree festival in the United Kingdom.

Most of the trees are of the traditional festive variety, but there are some unusual specimens too, such as a decorated ladder. Another is made up of miniature beds.

One tree, with a Victorian theme, also had a royal entourage to view the work. Local people dressed as Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert added a 19th century touch to the event.

The most poignant is dedicated to the people of the under-siege city of Aleppo in Syria. It is a plain, undecorated tree, free of glitter or baubles.

Festival organizer Ian Neal said the festival started at the church 14 years ago with just 100 trees.

"The event is run by a committee and a dedicated band of volunteers, who give their time to put in hours of hard work to make sure the festival is a huge success," he said.

Parts of the church date back to the year 1170, with many parts from the 13th and 14th centuries.

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