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Christmas Tree Festival 2 December to 11 Dec

This year’s Christmas Tree Festival at St Mary’s Church Yate, now in its 7th year, will run from 3 to 11 December and is taking a new approach. For the first time, we are combining our traditional decorated tree display with a display of paintings featuring trees - 30 trees and 30 paintings. Read on to learn why.

During the 2021 festival, a chance conversation introduced the organizers of the Tree Festival to Sean Suleman, a local artist - not just with a paintbrush but with other strings to his bow (or should we say brush!). Sean is a founder member of local charity Blonde Angel Street Team.

The Team was created in 2019 by a group of volunteers with one common goal: to help homeless people on the streets. They regularly collect kindly-donated supplies and distribute them throughout the year at weekly drops in Bristol at College Green and Broadmead, providing hot food and drinks, snacks, toiletries, clothing, bags and other essentials. The Team is a 5,000-strong non-profit Facebook group who collects and deliver these items to homeless people in Bristol so that they feel human again. In addition to the drops an enthusiastic mobile team covers the waterfront and other areas of Bristol, including Bradley Stoke and Yate. The group also caters for shelters and newly-housed people needing essential supplies. Their short-term aim is to give back, bringing kindness, happiness and smiles. Their big goal is to help to get people off the streets into container homes, hostels or rented accommodation, and into jobs – thereby saving lives and building hope.

The focus of the Christmas Tree Festival has always been to involve and engage with as broad a spectrum of the local community as possible, helping to convey the true message of Christmas. We invite you to enjoy the opportunity to meet with friends old and new, experiencing the sights and sounds of Christmas over a cuppa and a warm mince pie. Funds raised during the Festival will be shared 50/50 between St Mary’s Refurbishment Projects and the Blonde Angel Street Team to support their ongoing works in the community.

Entry to the Festival is FREE!! Sean recently told me these drops and supplies have never been in more demand - Bristol currently has over 80 homeless people on the streets and the most basic items are needed. We need your help so throughout the festival there will be opportunities to donate towards our fundraising and there will be a collection point at St Mary’s Church for items which the Blonde Angel Street Team can distribute – they have asked in particular for scarves, hats, gloves, socks, jackets, pot noodles, hand warmers, small torches with batteries. Monetary donations are passed on as Greggs Food Vouchers so the homeless can enjoy food and a hot drink. This event has grown each year and is a fantastic chance for anyone to be part of a Christmas celebration and community event whilst raising funds for local causes. We are always on the lookout for new sponsors. It is very simple to get involved as we fill the church with a magnificent display of decorated trees, each with their own unique design, colour and light display.

To be involved please contact the parish office at or call 01454 313105.


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