Get into the Christmas spirit with a host of festive events

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Enjoy the run-up to Christmas and support local festive events taking place over the weekend.

A Christmas Get-Together is being held on Sunday, December 8 at Hula Animal Rescue, in Aspley Guise.

The South Midlands Animal Sanctuary, on Salford Road, is hosting the fundraiser from 1pm-3.30pm, when visitors can meet some of the rescued animals - and Santa will be making an appearing too.

Christmas gifts, refreshments, pre-loved pet accessories for sale. Dogs welcome.

Admission £2 for adults, accompanied children free and there is free parking.

>> The University of Bedfordshire is holding a Carols by Candlelight service at St Paul’s Church, Bedford, on Tuesday, December 10.

Taking place between 6.30pm-8pm, the event is open to everyone and features the Bedford Choral Society Chamber Choir, Bedford Community Gospel Choir, and the University of Bedford Theatre Society.

Refreshments, including mince pies and mulled wine, will be served afterwards and donations can be made to Bedfordshire Refugee and Asylum Seeker Support.

Chaplain for the Bedford campus, Rev Cass Howes, said: “Carols by Candlelight is an opportunity to come together as a community and celebrate the Christmas season, which is a time of fun but also for thinking about the needs of others.”

For more information and to obtain your ticket for the ceremony, which is free of charge, please visit: www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/9344819607

>> Favourite carols, festive fare, seasonal readings and sparkling singing – join the Danesborough Chorus Christmas Concert on Saturday, December 14, at 7.30pm in St Mary’s Church, Woburn, when they will be singing a superb selection of carols, accompanied by John Witchell on piano and organ.

Musical director Ian Smith said: “We’re preparing a rich recipe for a marvellous musical meal - starting with a generous portion of traditional favourites, we’re adding a spicy selection of new carols, a sprinkling of Christmas readings and plenty of opportunity for audience participation!”

Tickets are £10 and £8, including seasonal refreshments, available from the Danesborough Chorus Office on 01525 376760

>> Christmas will be celebrated at The Bedford Arts and Crafts Centre during an open day on Saturday, December 7, from 11am until 2pm.

If you want to find out more about learning a new craft, improve your existing artistic skills or just want to explore a new hobby then head to centre at Raleigh House on Althorpe Street, off Ampthill Road (by the railway bridge).

Set in a lovely Victorian building, the event will feature carol singing, mince pies and mulled wine, so it sounds like the perfect way to get into the festive spirit!

There will be an opportunity to talk to tutors, see what’s on offer, and purchase some of the delightful individual and unique crafts produced.

Gift vouchers for the courses will be available and make ideal Christmas presents!

Places on workshops include Silver Jewellery Making, Design & make your own Christmas Wreath, Introduction to Patchwork and Quilting-make a bag, Christmas Flower Designs- give your home a makeover for Christmas.

Raleigh House was recently acquired by a number of tutors and individuals who were passionate about retaining the building and keeping traditional skills alive. They formed a ‘Not for Profit’ Community Interest Company and people in the town and further a field began the autumn term with enthusiasm, developing their creativity with courses in Art and Design, Pottery, Stained Glass Jewellery Making, Dressmaking and Textiles, Floristry, Paper Craft, Upholstery, Lace Making, Bookbinding, Woodcarving and Cake Decorating with new courses beginning in January. For more details visit Bedford Arts & Crafts Centre Download a copy of the 2013/14 course programme at www.bedfordcraftscentre.co.uk or contact 01234 266510.

>> Harrold Christmas Tree Festival is being held this weekend at the village’s United Reformed Church.

Churches Together in Harrold and Carlton are hosting the event on Saturday, December 7 from noon until 6pm, and Sunday, December 8 from 2pm until 5pm.

There will be displays of Christmas trees decorated by local people and visitors are invited to choose their favourite.

Seasonal music and refreshments will be available.

The festival will be opened by pupils from Harrold Priory Middle School at noon, and there will be carols on the green at 4.30pm.

Prizegiving for the favourite tree is on Sunday at 5pm.

Admission is free and donations are welcome for three local charities.

Mulled wine will give a festive atmosphere to an open afternoon being held to mark the launch of Arabella Beauty in Ampthill on Saturday, December 7.

The salon, in a listed building to the rear of Cheeseman’s Chemist, will be demonstrating treatments and offering mulled wine and refreshments to visitors from 1pm-4pm.

If you are holding an event in the run-up to Christmas, let us know - email your details to editorial@timesandcitizen.co.uk




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