A Christmas tree festival which attracts thousands of people to Holy Cross Church, Uckfield, each year is unable to go ahead as a live event this December.
Festival organisers say it would be irresponsible to carry on as usual because of the Coronavirus, and they must ensure the safety of their community, and volunteers.
Instead, because this is such an important event for the town, and an essential fund-raiser for the church, there are plans to put together a virtual festival helping to promote organisations and groups in the community.
Organisations, including groups and schools, which would like to take part are invited to get in touch.
The idea is that you will decorate a tree within your premises, school or home ready to be photographed for inclusion in a video. This can include detailed pictures of handmade decorations and members of your team.
Two slides of images will be included for each organisation, with clear name and website details, and a Christmas greeting to the community.
“It’s more important than ever to try to ensure your decorations represent your organisation,” say the organisers. “Let’s get creative.”
The festival video will be supported by festive music, and performances, and will be released on Saturday, December 4, traditionally one day of the festival weekend.
Those taking part are asked to donate £20 to be part of the virtual festival and to buy their own Christmas trees.
Members of the community are also invited to decorate their own trees at home during the festival weekend and to share pictures so everyone can be part of the event.
A memorial tree will be the focus at the church this Christmas. It will be twice as big as usual and located on the stage.
The aim will be to set up an online facility for people across the community, and country, to leave a message which will be written on a tag and placed on the tree of remembrance.
“These loved ones may no longer be with us, but will remain in our thoughts and hearts this Christmas.”
Festival organisers add about this year’s event: “It may not be quite the same and we look forward to returning in 2021, with the original format, but we want to continue to bring the community together once again, with a little festival magic.”
If you would like to be involved in the virtual festival please email Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org.