Historic kirk branches out again with Christmas tree festival

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Hundreds of visitors will be visiting St Conan’s Kirk again this year to see its Christmas tree festival.

This will be its fourth year, with organisers hoping the event at Lochawe will be its biggest and best so far.

Last year 800 visitors came to admire 47 trees decorated by businesses, groups, societies and individuals.

Entry is free but visitors are asked to make a donation then vote for their favourite tree.

The people’s favourite is announced at the end of the festival and all the proceeds go towards the kirk’s ongoing restoration appeal.

This year’s festival dates are Friday November 30 to Sunday December 2.

Friends of St Conan’s Kirk secretary Liz Mackay wants to hear from anyone interested in entering a tree for 2018, and they have until the end of this month to get in touch.

‘The festival is growing year on year. It’s not only open to groups and businesses, individuals or families can take part too. It can be a real tree or an artificial tree or something in a tree shape.

‘And it can be decorated any way you like. Last year we had trees made out of coat hangers and one made out of tin cans. The most popular tree was from Beaver Timber and was shaped like a beaver’s lodge. When you peeped inside you could see a Christmas tree and a beaver family tucking into their Christmas dinner,’ said Mrs Mackay.

The tree should be at least four feet, but taller is better, and lit with battery lights.

‘The kirk is an amazing setting for a Christmas tree festival. It’s such an atmospheric interior normally throughout the year but when you see all the twinkling lights and the reflections and glows in all the nooks and crannies it’s such a magical experience,’ added Mrs Mackay.

Word has it that Santa’s elves will be returning to the kirk on a special mission to check out all the trees, playing hide and seek with young visitors who will be encouraged to count how many they can find.

Anyone wanting to enter a tree in the festival, should contact Mrs Mackay by emailing: emmackay@btinternet.com