St Paul’s Christmas Tree Festival postponed until 2021

Bedford Christmas Tree Festival is an annual tradition enjoyed by thousands of local residents

The organisers of the popular Bedford Christmas Tree Festival at St Paul’s Church have confirmed that this year’s event will be postponed until 2021.

The annual festival, which raises money for the Bedford Hospital Charity & Friends, would be celebrating its 20th year this December.

Since 2000, the event has raised around £120,000 and attracts 4,500 visitors each year. Last year the festival featured 70 trees decorated by local schools, firms, charity groups and other Bedford organisations and choirs.

“Our decision was not taken lightly,” explained Margaret Oakley. “We had already been making some plans for a reduced sized festival with the theme ‘Community at Christmas’ allowing groups to showcase what they do and/ or maybe to highlight some of the positive kindness that was shown through our Community over lock down.

“We had already asked for recordings from many of our lovely school & community choirs so that we could play them in the background.

“We also hoped to display photographs of the making of the Scrubs for Bedford Hospital along with all the other donations in kind such as bicycles, cakes and meals.

“Our decision-making zoom meeting coincided with the Government announcement reinforcing the six people groupings. As a consequence, and in the light of pessimistic forecasts we felt we could not go ahead with the expenditure required to put on the Festival.

“Many of our decorator groups, visitors and volunteers are in the over 70 category or have some significant health issues so we did not feel comfortable with Covid related risks in mind.”

The organisers haven’t ruled out organising something online and the Bedford Independent looks forward to sharing any updates in the coming weeks.

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