A CHURCH will be hosting it’s first ever Christmas tree festival this weekend as the festive spirit gets turned up another notch.

Around 40 trees which have been provided by a wide range of church and community organisations will be on show at St Nicholas Church, in Witham.

Each one will be decorated to reflect the interests and activities of the groups providing them.

It is guaranteed to be a fun, family-friendly event with lots of incredible festive foliage on show and craft activities to keep younger visitors occupied.

But there will also be lovely homemade refreshments such as cakes, mince pies, sausage rolls and delicious mulled wines.

The festival has been timed to coincide with the celebration of the feast of St Nicolas - the patron saint of the church.

Visitors to the event should expect to see St Nicolas himself mingling among the crowds and there will be live organ music from time to time on the Saturday afternoon.

The church, which is in Chipping Hill, will be hosting the event on Saturday, December 8, from 11am until 7pm and on Sunday, December 9, from noon until 6pm.

The event will close with a special Festal Sung Evensong service, with robed choir, at 6pm on Sunday evening.

Admission will be by programme which cost £2 for adults with any accompanied children admitted for free.

All of the proceeds from the event will be in aid of the work and upkeep of St Nicolas Church.

More than 200 of the Christmas tree festivals are set to take place across the country this festive season with cash being raised for charities.

Venues in Writtle and Colchester are set to host tree festivals as well as if you can’t make it to the Witham event.

Visit christmastreefestivals.org for more information.

The website describes the festivals as “community events that bring people and local organisations together by each decorating a Christmas tree.

“The trees are then displayed collectively, for a limited time, to the public, often raising money for charity.”