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Christmas Fair 2011

We ran a ‘Christmas Fair’ on December 10th as part of our 1000+Appeal to reorder St Mary’s and to start a future expansion programme. It was a total success and raised in excess of £750 bringing our total to just over £51,500. We had targeted ourselves a figure of £250,000 so more fundraising is planned.

The seating was moved aside, a grotto was constructed for the comfort of Father Christmas who handed out presents to the children, stalls were erected for the sale of festive items, tombola, handicrafts, cakes and home-made tasties. Festoons of tinsel and coloured lights transformed the nave into a ‘wonderland’ and everyone enjoyed the festivity.
Historically, churches were often used for community events and celebrations, markets and festivals. As well as being a place of worship they would have fulfilled their social role in the life of its village parish. Before pews were invented the churches were often barely furnished, the worshipers would stand or lean against the walls to hear the word of God and awe at the wisdom of their priest.

The church was often the largest building in the village and its people would use it for secular gatherings as well as sacred.
The presence of animals also would not have been unusual at market day. So, the erection of stalls for the selling of goods is not new in the life of the church and we are happy to continue the traditions of our forebears. Likewise, the performance of drama by roving mummers, the playing of music by troubadours and the dancing of jigs at celebrations and festivals is worthy of repeat and we shall be doing so in February when we bring pantomime to East Barnet Parish Church.
For one week only, the chancel will be converted into a Victorian theatre complete with a proscenium arch, stages, scenery, lighting and music with a cast of many parishioners having great fun and hoping that East Barnet will enjoy some home-made entertainment. Of course the proceeds will go towards the 1000+Appeal so buy your tickets now. Fuller details are elsewhere on this website.
Richard Selby – 1000+Appeal Coordinator


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