Planning is in full swing for Ilkley's stunning 2023 Christmas Tree Festival

St Margaret's welcomes 30 local charities and community groups, each coming with their own beautifully decorated tree to provide a sparkling showpiece in the church on Friday 8th and Saturday 9th December.

Stunning Nordmann Fir Christmas trees supplied by Moss and Moor are decorated with lights and designed to reflect the essence of each organisation's unique personality, with visitors having the opportunity to vote for their favourite trees.

A spokesperson said: “Decorate the Mitten Tree – we are again inviting visitors to bring a pair of new gloves, socks or a woolly hat to decorate the Mitten Tree. These will be donated to the Nell Bank Outdoor Education Centre to keep young visitors warm. We would love you to help us cover this tree with colourful woolly items!”

“The popular angel making workshop hosted by our Ukrainian guests last year is back and will take place on Saturday 9th December at 12pm in the church. Come along and make a beautiful angel to decorate your own tree at home or to give to your family or friends as a Christmas gift. The workshop is free but donations to pay for materials are welcome.

“As well as browsing among the spectacular trees, there will be a live music programme on both days, including performances by the choirs of St Margaret's and primary school children from surrounding schools singing their hearts out on Friday afternoon. A stirring concert by Rock Choir Yorkshire will fill the church at 2pm on Saturday 9th December. A full programme of music is available from St Margaret's. Or view the programme on the Ilkley Christmas Tree Festival Facebook page.”

There will also be a selection of freshly baked cakes and mince pies, as well as delicious Lishman sausage rolls. There will also be coffee, tea and juices for sale to tempt you to sit for a moment, chat with friends and enjoy the music and entertainment in this beautiful space.

Father Alex Crawford, Parish Priest of St Margaret's, said: “We are really looking forward to another Christmas tree celebration in our beautiful church. Last year we were overwhelmed by the wonderful support of so many visitors and of course by such creatively decorated trees. This year we have more of the same, along with live music and refreshments. Your donations will be used to support food banks in Ilkley and Bradford and help keep our church open and serving our community this Christmas. We hope you will come and share some Christmas spirit with us – and don't forget our lovely Christingle service for all the family on Sunday 10th at 3pm.

“There is so much to do this Christmas Tree Festival weekend – we hope you’ll join us.”

For those who want to plan their music during their visit, the schedule is (subject to change):

Friday, December 8
10am Ilkley Singers
2.00 p.m. Songs of the Moorfield School
3.00 pm Steph and her saxophone
4.30pm Songs from Addingham Primary School
5.15pm Ilkley Choral Society
18.00 end

Saturday, December 9
10.30 am Outside the Box
11.15 a.m. Ukrainian children's choir
12.00 pm Workshop on making Ukrainian angels
2.00 p.m. Yorkshire Rock Choir
3.30pm Ilkley Singers
4.30pm St. Margaret's Choir
18.00 end

The Christmas Tree Festival is open on Friday 8th and Saturday 9th December from 10am to 6pm. Admission is free and everyone is welcome.