Rothbury’s festival with a difference

Rev Michael Boag at All Saints church in Rothbury.
Rev Michael Boag at All Saints church in Rothbury.

A Christmas festival with a difference is to take place in Rothbury next weekend to raise funds for local, regional and international charities.

The Coquetdale Community Christmas Tree Festival will see All Saints’ Church filled with 50 festive trees all decorated by businesses, voluntary groups and schools from the area alongside a wide range of other events including a visit from Santa, concerts and children’s crafts.

Launching on Friday, December 5, with an invitation-only event, the festival will then be open to the public for free from Saturday, December 6, to Tuesday, December 9.

Organised by All Saints’ Church and Rothbury WI, the weekend also includes a visit from Santa and a pop-up branch of the North Pole Post Office at the Church from 10am, alongside traditional crafts, including the making of a Rothbury kissing bough. And Saturday night will see a Wassail Evening in the church organised by the WI, with food, wine and Graham Stacey’s traditional folk band, for which tickets are £5.

The festivities continue on Sunday with a free concert, at 2pm, which includes music from the Northumbrian Ranters, Voicemale and a short dramatised reading of Dickens’ Christmas Carol in appropriate Victorian costume. This will be followed by refreshments and Coquetdale Chamber choir will lead a festive evensong to end the weekend.

The Christmas tree exhibition will continue to be open to all throughout the weekend and on Monday and Tuesday.

Money raised throughout the weekend will be split between four causes – All Saints’ Parish Church, Rothbury and Coquetdale Youth Project, Angel Tree, which provides Christmas presents for the children of prisoners, and Mary’s Meals, an international charity that provides school equipment and lunches for children in Africa to be able to receive an education.