FIRST of all I would like to say a big thank you to everyone for their support for the St Mary’s Church Christmas Tree Festival (December 13-15), whether it be musical or decorating a tree. Without your generous support, we would not be able to undertake such an event within the community of Barry.

The aim of the festival is to bring our community together in a shared enterprise and to invite both the community and visitors into our beautiful church so that they can enjoy with us those things that we hold dear at this important time of the Christian year.

The church will be suitably decorated by the ladies of our parish and the outside areas will also be decorated with trees. The town library will also have a window display for all to enjoy.

Your trees can be brought to the church on December 10 or 11 between the hours of 10.30am and 6pm. Help will be available if needed.

On Thursday, December 13, Barry mayor Cllr Les Sword will open the festival at 9.30am. Please come along if you can. The church will then be open between 10am and 6pm on all three days. We expect to have the building filled with about 40 Christmas trees, all decorated by individual sponsors; many will be lit so the church will be darkened except for the lights from the trees; the effect will be breathtaking.

There will be musical entertainment to enhance the atmosphere inside the church throughout the festival. This will be provided by local school choirs, small groups or individuals, mostly for about half hour periods.

Our three judges are Cllr Eric Hacker (Vale mayor), Cllr Sword and Jane Hutt (AM). Judging will take place in private on December 12, with the results announced by our judges on December 15 at 2.30pm. There will be first, second and third place certificates and photographs will be taken. It is hoped that all sponsors will be present.

We will then be entertained by the Vale of Glamorgan Brass Training Band and children of a local drama school, T4K.

A good variety of refreshments will be available including tea, coffee, squash, sandwiches, hot dogs, cakes, etc.

Admission charges will be adults (£2) and concessions (£1.50), with free entry for children under 16. A donation from the event will be given to Ty Hapus, a special place in the Vale for people with dementia who work alongside the Alzheimer’s Society.

The trees will stay in the church for Sunday, December 16, when there is a candlelit carol service at 7.15pm hosted by Cllr Sword. All trees need to be removed between 10am and 2.30pm on December 17. While some sponsors have decided to donate trees to charities, others are selling them in aid of festival funds. Please could you let me know what you intend to do on either 01446 747928 or 07866 078665.

We look forward to welcoming you all at St Mary’s Church.

Susan Borges Rector’s warden St Mary’s Church