More than 40 decorated Christmas trees lit up St Andrew’s Methodist Church, Sheringham during a festival aimed at raising funds for local and national charities and good causes.

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The annual event, which last year raised more than £5,000 is a joint venture between the parish and Methodist churches which take turns to play host.

Thousands turned out to see trees ranging from the traditional to the off-the-wall - from a crab and boat-adorned tree decorated by the Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen, to a sparse and sad-looking tree upside down in a bucket by the Depression Alliance.

The Friends of Kelling Hospital hung their tree with peg doll nurses dressed in 1920s uniform, while Sheringham Woodfields School strung theirs with photographs of pupils.

Other charities represented included Holt Youth Project, Riding for the Disabled, PACT Animal Sanctuary, The Alzheimer’s Society and Sheringham After Breast Cancer Group.

A prayer tree near the church altar was decorated with paper stars featuring messages written to loved ones by festival visitors. There were hopes of health and happiness to the seriously ill, a dedication to a bereaved wife and a prayer for guidance to a young mother.

St Andrew’s minister, the Rev Colin Sherwood, thanked all those who had helped make the festival a success, including church volunteers who laid on refreshments and ran stalls.

“For so many individuals and charities, these are difficult times,” he said. “And this event provided an opportunity to make a difference.”

St Andrew’s church secretary Rosa West helped organise the festival with a committee made up of volunteers from the Methodist and parish churches and members of Sheringham and Cromer Lions Club.

“We have had wonderful feedback from visitors and I think people have been very moved to see the number of charities represented and the very real need there is,” she said.

● See more pictures at www.northnorfolknews24.co.uk

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