Christmas wreaths at Melton Mowbray

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To coincide with the town's Victorian Christmas Fayre, the parish held the first ever Christmas Wreath Festival and Open Church at S. John's. Ninety-eight homemade wreaths were submitted for the competition and then displayed in the Church over the weekend. Hundreds of visitors came to view the wreaths, to light candles and pray for their own intentions and to rest from the hubbub of the town centre. The church crib was displayed in front of the altar, to gently remind visitors of the true meaning of Christmas and to direct their thoughts to Jesus. The wreaths may be viewed in all their glory on our website: www.graciousrock.co.uk.

The Parish Mini-Fair also took place that Saturday, at Melton Museum, opposite St John's. Tea, coffee and non-alcoholic mulled wine were served with mince pies at various stalls, along with a sale of new and used items, a tombola and a mystery jar. On Saturday, the 1st of December, we had the privilege of welcoming Resonations, a string trio from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, who played two pop-in concerts.

Frances, our Parish Secretary, had this to say to the Melton Times Newspaper: "This demonstrates how much talent and creativity there is in our town. This is the first time we have done anything like this, and we decided on the theme at quite short notice, so we were astonished at the number of entries. The church looked stunning. Next year we will be able to publicise it better and we hope to have even more beautiful wreaths for people to see, in this lovely Gothic Revival building."

As a follow-up to this very successful event, we raised over £1,400 (in donations, and from the Mini Fair and the sale of raffle tickets). Many visitors commented that they had lived in Melton for decades (one couple over 50 years) and had never been into S. John's. Some mentioned that they had never been into a Catholic Church and were interested to hear about our Faith and how it was reflected in the architecture of the Church.

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