Festive forest fills churchhall
There will likely be a partridge perched somewhere among the festive trees in this version of the Twelve Days of Christmas.
Almost 800 people checked out the Renwick Christmas Tree Festival last year, with at least the same expected this year.
Wairau Valley parishioners stage the festival in Renwick’s Anglican Church, which fills with fabulously dressed trees for the event open to the public for twelve days, in keeping with the popular yuletide tune.
Started soon after vicar Joe Keighley and his family moved to Renwick three years ago, the first event attracted about 400 people and doubled last year.
‘‘It runs through to Christmas Eve, the full 12 days,’’ Keighley said.
He said there was at least 30 trees filling the church, each with its own decorative style. Some were traditional green pine trees, while others like the art deco version Keighley had also made added to the variety.
One, a bridal gown constructed from pine branches on a full size mannequin bedecked with glistening lights, came from nationally recognised Renwick wedding dress designer Bernadette Thomas.
‘‘There’s a nativity scene as well to remind people our Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth is the reason for the season,’’ Keighley said.
He said the church was open to visitors through to Christmas, with a coral service held among the trees on December 17 at 7pm.
‘‘We hold the carol service and talk about Jesus, show video clips and multi-media, all sorts of bits and pieces thrown together to talk
Anglican vicar Joe Keighley with his art deco contribution to the Renwick Tree Festival staged by his parishioners.