Charity and church team up for bumper festive event

• Emily and Joshua with reindeer Blitzen at Winter Wonderland.

ST Nathanael’s Church became the setting for a Winter Wonderland experience as the Opening Doors Project and church teamed up for a day-long Christmas extravaganza.

The charity’s events, funded and supported by the Government’s HAF scheme, LCVS and MPAC, started in the morning as children got to spend time with Father Christmas for ‘Breakfast With Santa’, which included an arts and crafts session and some fun playing games. The event was so popular and oversubscribed that Father Christmas was asked to return for a ‘Lunch With Santa’ session in the afternoon.

Greeting children to the charity’s evening Winter Wonderland special were a Nutcracker and reindeers Blitzen and Prancer.

Visitors were then led around to the side of the church where the garden and trees sparkled with an array of colourful Christmas lights and a host of seasonal -themed inflatables lit up the path.

Inside the church youngsters had the chance to visit Father Christmas in his grotto and receive a gift as well have their photo taken with him.

Garden at St Nathanael's Church was transformed for the Winter Wonderland event.
• Isaac Spence, 7, with Nutcracker.

Meanwhile, also on offer at the Christmas festival, along with occasional bursts of the snow machine, were opportunities to make crafts, stalls with free candy floss, popcorn, hotdogs, a range of other hot food and a stall selling Christmas-themed goods.

Following a quick reorganisation of the church, St Nathanael’s took charge of the last of the day’s events by holding a Christmas service which featured an interactive telling of the nativity story in the church’s grounds.
This was followed by the singing of carols rounded off with a joyful flag waving procession around the inside of the church.

Colette Lamont who visited Winter Wonderland with her friend’s grandson expressed her gratitude for the work of Opening Doors Project. “I think they deserve a medal,” Colette said, “They work very hard all year round. I appreciate what they are doing for the neighbourhood.”

Rachel Power, who attended with her children Emily,10, and Joshua, 6, said about the day’s events: “It has been brilliant for the community … it’s just fantastic.” 


This blog story appeared in January issue of Walton Herald. 

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