With time to spare before the weekly Tesco run, I stopped in at the delightful little parish church of St Peter ad Vincula in Wisborough Green to look at their Advent Christmas Tree Festival. This delightful church (its name means St Peter in Chains) sits on a small hill beside the busy A272 road and commands spectacular views across the South Downs, and as this morning had been a little frosty the thaw gave rise to a magical haze.
South Downs from churchyard at St Peter ad Vincula
On entering the church (I first managed to fall down the small step just inside the door, but fortunately not fall over completely!) I was confronted with a magical site of some 50 Christmas trees lining the walls all lit up and individually decorated to the theme of a Christmas Carol. The event has been organised as a fund-raiser for the Chestnut Tree House Childrens Hospice (www.chestnut-tree-house.org.uk) and the villagers, community groups and businesses local to Wisborough Green sponsored and decorated a tree. Not being a religious person myself, I found the whole thing really rather special and just a tiny bit magical, very atmospheric and a welcome departure from the cash-grabbing in-your-face side of Christmas so much in evidence elsewhere. The event is open for just one week from 7th to 15th December between 10.30am and 7pm (12-7 on Sundays), entry if free, but a donation to Chestnut Tree House would be very welcome, and the friendly volunteers stewarding the event are most willing to chat and offer tea or coffee.