Fes­tive for­est fills church­hall

Marlborough Express - The Saturday Express, Marlborough - - WHAT’S ON - GEOFF VAUSE

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.

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