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Ashwell at Christmas 2008

On a sparkling December morning St Mary's Church held its annual Christmas Fair as part of Ashwell at Christmas. People came from near and far to enjoy the great variety of crafts and skills displayed - basketwork, jewellery, ceramics, photography, decorated tiles, cards, candles, bee-keeping and alpaca wool products. The cakes and preserves stall sold out in no time; honey was sampled and the delicious aroma of mulled wine pervaded the Church. The Church's own gift stall was laden with an assortment of tempting gifts; people browsed at the bookstall, admired exquisite embroidery, tried their luck at the tombola and bran tub and guessed the weight of a Christmas cake. Children sported tattoos (removable!) and beautifully painted nails courtesy of Josephine and Olivia. Those who needed to exercise their brains tackled the fiendish Quiz while the Church choir entertained us with their beautiful carol singing.

Carol singing

Gift and Craft stalls

Homemade cakes

Baskets made by Sandra Barker

Bee-keeping and locally produced honey


Not only does the Christmas Fair raise money to help maintain our beautiful Church - in excess of £1,900 this time - but it also gives Ashwell people and our visitors an opportunity to come together to enjoy ourselves. And, if the buzz of chatter and laughter was anything to go by, a good time was had by all!

The success of the Fair depended on so many people and to all of them I give my warmest thanks. To all those who donated gifts, cakes and preserves; to those who set up and dismantled the stalls; to those who spent hours pricing gifts and manning stalls; to the choir and to everyone who came to do their Christmas shopping - thank you.

Eileen ten Hove