Music brings joy during Christmas Tree Festival at St Paul’s Church

Christmas Tree Festival at St Paul's Church
Christmas Tree Festival at St Paul's Church

The Joy of Music is the theme for this year’s annual festival of Christmas trees in Bedford.

About 60 trees, decorated by local organisations, businesses, charities and schools, can be seen at St Paul’s Church in early December.

The seasonal setting will be made more joyful as schools and community choirs will sing throughout the week. Two Trees of Remembrance will be available for personal messages.

Proceeds from the festival are shared between St Paul’s and the Bedford Hospitals Charity and since 2001 has raised more than £100,000.

It will be open from Wednesday, December 2 until Sunday, December 6, from 10am until 5pm, and on the Sunday 2pm until 5pm. Admission is £2.50, with children admitted free. Refreshments will be served all day.

As part of the Christmas Tree Festival, this year’s evening concert of classical and folk music is given by Cellophany (eight cellos) on Friday, December 4 at 7.30pm.

The London-based octet have rapidly established themselves as a leading cello ensemble, carving a reputation as accomplished exponents of both the standard cello ensemble repertoire and a diverse array of specially commissioned arrangements and adaptations.

As finalists of the Royal Over-Seas League chamber music competition and as Park Lane Group Young Artists, Cellophony have received universal critical acclaim for performances at some of the UK’s most prestigious venues, including the Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room, The Sage at Gateshead, and the world famous Wigmore Hall. Their collaborations to date have included sopranos Sarah Fox and Susana Gaspar, tenor Ben Johnson, and violinists Roberto Gonzalez and Sasha Sitkovetsky.

Tickets are available online at www.bedfordhospitalcharity.org.uk or call 01234 783181, or St Paul’s Church on 01234 340163. Tickets are £15 to include a glass of mulled wine.

The festival will be opened at 10am on Wednesday, December 2 by the Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, Helen Nellis. After the festival, the non-drip trees will be available to buy from 11am to noon on Monday, December 7 for £10.

St Paul’s Church, the parish church of Bedford with its tall spire stands majestically in St Paul’s square in the town centre where there has been a church for more than 1,000 years.

Today the majestic interior boasts a combination of glorious architectural features added to over the centuries, with colourful stained glass windows as well as carvings in stone or painted wood.

This setting makes a superb backdrop for the many Christmas trees and for the delightful concert.