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Tree decorating inspiration at the Crediton Christmas Tree Festival

Christmas begins for many at the Crediton Christmas Tree Festival which showcases over 70 decorated trees & the whole community gets into the holiday spirit
The Crediton Christmas Tree Festival is a magical event that I always enjoy visiting. Held on the first weekend in December over four days, from Thursday to Sunday, this stunning event attracts over 4,300 visitors.

The Crediton Christmas Tree Festival began in 2002, and quickly proved to be popular which led to it becoming an annual event. It has now doubled in size and in 2013 is expected to have over 70 beautifully decorated Christmas trees on display in this 11th annual event. Visitors are encouraged to enjoy browsing, photographing and admiring the hard work and imagination that goes into the trees, as well as having a look round this lovely church building.

Background history of Crediton Parish Church

The event is held in , also known as the Collegiate Church of the Holy Cross. Like many churches across Devon, Crediton Parish Church is recorded in documents tracing its origins back to the early 10th century, and possibly even earlier.

A monastery was first built in Crediton as it was the birthplace of St Boniface. The original Saxon church was the Cathedral of the area before the bishop’s throne was moved to in 1050AD. The existing church dates back to Norman times and has some most unusual historic features as well as a beautiful sundial.

Over 70 decorated trees at the Crediton Christmas Tree Festival

The Crediton Christmas Tree Festival is open to visitors from 11am to 6pm on Thursday and Friday, 10:30am to 7pm on Saturday and 2-5pm on the Sunday, although of course you can enjoy them by attending the Sunday morning service too!

Decorated and illuminated Christmas trees range from 6 feet in height to a whopping 20 feet – it’s a good job the church has plenty of open space to house some of these giants! The trees are all donated and decorated by local businesses, charities, social organizations and groups, and of course there is friendly rivalry between them.

There are two categories for judging purposes: the favourite adult’s tree and the favourite children’s tree. The favourite children’s tree in the past has been won by the 4th Crediton Brownies and by the Hayward’s Primary School, among others. The favourite adult tree has previously been won by the Crediton Town Band and by Daphne’s Lace Group. It’s fascinating to see the many themes represented in the tree decorations, from Jingle Bells to Butterflies.

A great fundraiser and an enjoyable day out

Admission to this wonderful festive event is free, but nonetheless the refreshments, entertainment and side stalls help to raise over £6,000 for church funds. It’s worth supporting this event with a few purchases or enjoying homemade cakes and drink as part of your visit.

You will find the Crediton Christmas Tree Festival is far more than just a stroll around admiring the inventive and sparkling decoration of the trees. You can take a guided tour of the church and learn more about its history and interesting features including the bells. Previous church members of note include Sir John de Sully, William Peryam and General Sir Redvers Buller, V.C.

Stalls are set up to sell gifts, crafts and refreshments in the nearby Boniface Centre Church Hall. Previous years have included an exhibition of local photography by the Crediton Photography Club and a concert of music, poems and carols on Saturday evening.

This is wonderful event to see, but as a local I would definitely suggest visiting towards evening when the lit trees are shown off at their best.

Have you ever seen 70 decorated Christmas trees in one hit? We’re sure there are more Christmas Tree Festivals like this around the Westcountry, so feel free to share your local knowledge with us below.

About Gillian Birch

Born in Cheshire, Gillian Birch moved to Cornwall at her earliest opportunity and never looked back. After 20 years, her ongoing discovery of popular attractions, quiet footpaths and local eateries has made her a fount of knowledge as she entertains readers with her informative articles on the hidden gems of Devon & Cornwall from a local point-of-view.

Find Gillian on Google+, and Twitter.

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