The winners of the 2018 Chester Cathedral Christmas Tree Festival have been announced with A Handbag of Harmonies and Birkenhead School scooping the top prizes.
The festival, which returned for a sixth year in 2018, ran from November 2018 to January 2019 and featured more than 50 majestic Christmas trees decorated by schools and businesses from across Chester & Cheshire.
Chester Cathedral welcomed over 45,000 visitors during the seven week period of the festival and more than 1,000 votes were cast in the festival’s ‘favourite tree’ ballot. Birkenhead School were most popular school tree with visitors for the second year in a row – definitely a performance to beat!
The winners were presented with an engraved trophy and passes for the Chester Cathedral Falconry and Nature Gardens, or Cathedral at Height tower tour.
The festival raised a magnificent £11,000 for chosen local charity the Hospice of the Good Shepherd.
Justin Caroe, Fundraiser for Hospice of the Good Shepherd commented “The Hospice was delighted to be chosen this year as the beneficiaries from the Christmas Tree Festival. We can’t thank everyone enough who came to visit and made a donation to the Hospice over the festive period. The amount raised will pay for one full day of Hospice care which in itself is an amazing feat. We have thoroughly enjoyed working with the Cathedral over the festival for what has proven to be one of the Chester’s highlighted features.”
Dean of Chester, the Very Revd Dr Tim Stratford, said “This is my first Christmas Tree Festival here in Chester, and it made my heart sing! From the quality of trees very kindly donated by Grosvenor Estate to the efforts of the participating schools and businesses; we were wowed by their creativity, as were our visitors – celebrating the wonder of what God does, with his decoration.
We are also very pleased that we have been able to support the Hospice of the Good Shepherd through this initiative. In total now, over the six years of the festival, Chester Cathedral has donated £43,700 to local charities.
The Christmas Tree Festival returns on Saturday 30 November this year – and we already have reservations for trees!” he concludes.
Schools and businesses wishing to reserve a Christmas Tree for the 2019 festival should contact Sue Petranca at Chester Cathedral on 01244 500961 or firstname.lastname@example.org