The Fakenham Christmas Tree Festival has achieved record fundraising success in the festival founder’s final year of overseeing it.

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More than £39,000 has been raised and money is still coming in. The previous record was £38,000.

The 76 charities which took part raised £22,000 and a £17,000 has been raised for Fakenham Parish Church, which hosts the festival.

The rector of Fakenham, rev Adrian Bell, who started the festival 12 years ago and will retire in the summer next year, said: “In this day and age to raise that amount of money is extraordinary and for me, personally, it is the perfect send off.

“The charities and the church have done extremely well and I’m delighted by what has been achieved in my final year.

“The Christmas Tree Festival and the Fakenham Christmas lights switch-on were both magnificent.

“Visitors came from as far as France and Germany and one man came from western Australia!”

Although he won’t be involved in next year’s festival Mr Bell said work to organise it has already started.

He said: “We’ve already had one coach load of people booked in.”

Next year’s festival will be from November 27 until December 4. Bookings for coaches already being received and charities can apply to take part from March 1.

For more information, contact the parish office, Gladstone Road, Fakenham, on 01328 862268.

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