From kōwhai fairies to quilted native birds, the halls were most certainly decked.
The Nelson Cathedral Christmas Tree Festival brought joy and the spirit of Christmas to over 12,000 people from all over the world. 66 trees were decorated by various community organisations, filling the cathedral with colour and light. The festival also held 15 free concerts over its 50-day run to celebrate the season.
The festival was attended by a wide range of people, from preschoolers to retirees. Intergenerational groups also came together, with many families visiting together. Each of these visitors was invited to vote for their favourite tree. The festival received 11,200 votes, with the top five being the Alzheimer's Society Nelson Tasman, Nelson Tasman Hospice, Nelson Quilters Guild, Nelson Miniatures Club, and Habitat for Humanity - Restore.
The festival's success was largely due to the dedicated group of volunteers who made it happen. Judith and Chris Fitchett, Joc Smith, David Lucas, and Erin Beatson worked tirelessly to bring the festival to life, along with Festival Patron Bev Greig. Hospitality was provided by volunteer 'welcomers' from the Cathedral and local community groups.
Special thanks also go to the Nelson City Council and Nelmac, who helped with the big Christmas tree, and to Wayne Chapman, Glenn Roberts Electrical, and Shane Harwood of High Reach Solutions. The Cathedral Christmas Celebrations were at the festival's heart, with over 230 attendees at the Advent Carol Service and Nine-Lessons and Carols, 720 attendees at the Christmas services, and over 600 online views of the services, especially on Christmas Eve.
'Carols on the Steps' was held once again with the help of All Saints and Nelson Baptist Church, NCC, Nelmac, and the Nelson City Brass Band and was attended by approximately 2,000 people. The Cathedral Flower Guild also did a fantastic job providing table settings for the Mayoral Community Lunch on Christmas Day.
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We have invited these writers to share their experiences, ideas and opinions in the hope that these will provoke thought, challenge you to go deeper and inspire you to put your faith into action. These articles should not be taken as the official view of the Nelson Diocese on any particular matter.