Christmas Tree Festival

Thornton Christmas Tree Festival 2021 took place over the weekend of Saturday and Sunday 11th & 12th December. The theme this year was ‘Christmas Stories in any media, including film’.

Despite the short notice that the festival would be held this year there were still 10 wonderful entries covering the 3 categories:-

1) Adult 2) Children/family 3) Most ingenious/original.

There were approximately 150 – 200 visitors to the church over the 2 day period and 105 voting slips were completed.

The 50p entrance fee and a small donation for refreshments raised £180 for the Friends of St Peter’s.

Winner – Adult category – The Polar Express (The Thornton Ringers)

Copyright – Gillatphotography

Winner – Children/family – The Snowman & Snowdog (Little Angels)

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Winner – Ingenious/original – Two sides of a Christmas Carol (Beta Group)

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Overall feedback was positive and everyone enjoyed the opportunity to do something ‘Christmassy’, whilst looking around our wonderful and interesting church. I’m sure there will be an even bigger and better Christmas Tree festival next year.

The weekend culminated in the ‘9 Lessons and Carols’ service in the evening. A lovely way to end a lovely weekend.

Best wishes to all for Christmas and the New Year.

Copyright – Gillatphotography

News from St Peter’s church, Thornton

The beech tree suffering from Meripilus Gaganteus in Thornton churchyard has now been felled much to everyone’s relief.

The storms of late November caused some anxiety, but all is safely sorted now.

Beddow Tree Specialists, a very caring and conscientious company, did an excellent job, taking great care to avoid any damage to the remaining headstones and surrounding trees by lowering each branch using a pulley system.

We were really worried about how the cost of all the work involved would be met but the generosity of local people has been lovely and very encouraging. Thank you everyone.

At the time of writing, we have £1,850 towards the costs.

In May I applied to the Jack Patston Charitable Trust for help with the cost of the Death Watch Beetle treatment. I really didn’t think they would be able to help, but last week we received a cheque for £2,500 (half the cost). And Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council have recently given us a grant of £6,238 to help with the cost of the roof repair after the thieves stole the lead in 2019 and the recent stonework repairs to the church to stop the ingress of water. This represents half the cost. I can’t tell you how relieved we all are. Thank you.

During the month of November alone we have accumulated bills amounting to over £14,000, what with the tree works, stonework repairs, maintenance and monitoring costs for the roof alarm, and the maintenance of the heating system.

The Christmas Craft Fayre was an amazing day. We had so many people supporting this event that we ran out of raffle tickets, tombola prizes and Martins quiz sheets.

The only things we did not run out of were happiness and enthusiasm. This after the day not starting off so well as Father Christmas had to walk to the Community Centre. Gemini, the steam engine bringing him, very sadly was poorly at the last minute. The good news is that Colin her owner quickly diagnosed the problem, and she is back in full working order. By the time Father Christmas arrived he already had an excited queue of children waiting to visit him in his grotto.

A huge thank you to everyone who supported this amazing day. Stall holders, your stalls looked great, full of beautiful items many of which were handcrafted. Thank you. And thank you to everyone that pitched in to help with so many of the jobs. You are all wonderful.

We raised an amazing £1,590. Every penny of this goes towards the cost of maintaining and improving our beautiful, ancient church.

We are hoping that we have very few demands on money over the next couple of years as we are really hoping that the plans for a vertical lift into church and the creation of a comfortable multi-use area will come to fruition soon. We know this will be costly but have every faith that the funds will become available through grants, fund raising and generosity.

I am hoping for no more bees, leaks, beetles, poorly trees, thieves or any other problems!

We wish you all a joy filled and peaceful Christmas and 2022. Stay well and safe.

By Shirley Garlick (churchwarden) and all at St Peter’s church

Published in the Herald – December 2021

Copyright – Gillatphotography – 29/11/21

Thornton Ladies Christmas Lunch

The Thornton ladies luncheon group, having met in November, for the first time since March 2020, met again on Thursday for a Christmas lunch at the Bricklayers Arms.

Hopefully the group will be able to get back to their pre Covid routine of meeting up once a month for lunch in the New Year.

Thornton Action Group

Thornton Action Group was founded to fundraise in relation to ‘Keep Thornton Green’, a direct response to planning applications on the far side of the reservoir.

The group funds have remained in place for several years in case they were needed, but the Action Group have decided to relinquish monies held in this account. It is with the greatest of pleasure that the members of TAG have donated to Thornton St Peter’s Church over £1,500 to help with the arboriculture work which has taken place within the churchyard.

The group has also paid for two new sets of pads for the defibrillator on the wall facing the car park at the Bricklayers Arms, having reached their expiry date, replacements are required. The group is happy to be involved with two worthwhile projects.

Published in the Herald – December 2021

Poppy Appeal 2021

Bagworth, Markfield, Stanton under Bardon and Thornton

By Liz Mitchell

This is the Centenary year of both the Royal British Legion and the Poppy Appeal.

One hundred years ago, veterans were begging in the streets and surviving on hand-outs and soup kitchens. The fabric of our society had been wrecked by WWI, and the health and social care that we take for granted today did not exist then.

The Legion began its life to meet an immediate need to support the returning veterans and their families. Today the Royal British Legion is the largest military charity and has Remembrance, welfare and campaigning at the heart of all we do. We have a network of members that works nationwide to educate all members of the community and to keep the act of Remembrance alive all year round.

The collections and donations from our four villages this year totalled £2,947.06. The schools in our area raised a total of £1,218.63, which is exceptional. Every penny that was raised through this collection will go directly to welfare. My thanks go to all the school staff, pupils, parents, villagers, businesses, Markfield WI, youth organisations and the Parish Councils that have helped in the Poppy Appeal this year.

Published by the Herald – December 2021

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Thornton Seniors Christmas party

Last Saturday saw the welcome return of the Seniors Christmas party at the Community Centre. This annual event has been held for many years in the village.

Last year because of the Covid lockdown instead of the party, pensioners in the village were treated to a much appreciated Christmas hamper each.

It was so lovely to see the hall decked out for a party, together with the theatre group’s Christmas tree on stage. The tables looked magnificent, each with a table decoration (not to mention a bottle of Cava).

Copyright – Gillatphotography

The doors opened at 4pm and people were buzzing as they came in, obviously excited at the thought of ‘normality’ and meeting up with other residents they hadn’t seen for some time.

Fifty one residents were served with a glorious afternoon tea of sandwiches, nibbles, delicious puddings and cakes, all washed down with copious amounts of tea interspersed with Cava and bottles of wine.

Raffle tickets were purchased and after the tables were cleared the prizes were drawn. There must have been about 20 raffle prizes all kindly donated mainly by the ‘helpers’ and their families and some brought by the party goers – although well wrapped, most looked like bottles and I don’t mean milk bottles!

Food and prizes sorted – the band, Go Daddy Daddy, were set up and ready to go. The party got started with a bit of ‘rock and roll’, by ‘dancing the night away’ to the Mavericks, and all the favourite songs from our ‘youth’. Zimmer frames were parked, sticks abandoned, creaking hips and dodgy knees ignored, nothing was going to stop everyone having a good time. After such a horrid 20 months it was lovely to see everyone enjoying themselves.

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To show our appreciation for all the effort and hard work of Maureen and Angeline and their 6 helpers there was a ‘whip round’ for the ‘girls’ which raised £120. Unsurprisingly they refused to accept this, but instead the money will be put towards next years party – enough for two bottles of Cava per table!!

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Here’s to the next one. If you would like to help in anyway or make a donation or gift a raffle prize – email: –

Christmas Tree festival – application form

Thornton Christmas Tree Festival will be held at St. Peter’s Church, Thornton over the weekend of Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th December 2021.

Would you like to exhibit a tree at St. Peter’s Church as part of the Thornton Christmas Tree Festival?

Then download your application form here:-

The theme of the Festival is “Christmas stories and films in any media”.
Please Note: Battery-operated lights only (no electrical leads/cables permitted).

Closing Date for entries: 6th December to Sue Bakewell, 8 Church Lane, Thornton.
Please Note: Entries are restricted to 30 trees in total and so will be on a ‘First Come, First Accepted’

Terms and Conditions

Height of tree:
Trees up to 1m (38”) high will be displayed above floor level on boards etc; all trees over 1m high will be displayed on the floor.
Entry Category: Children/Family Adult. Choose a title on which the tree decoration will be based.

St. Peter’s will be open on Friday 10th December, 2pm – 7pm for you to bring your tree into the church and decorate it. You will be allocated your space on arrival. If you need to come outside of those times, please contact Sue; email / telephone 01530 231625 to arrange a mutually convenient time.

St. Peter’s will be open on Tuesday 14th December, 2pm – 7pm for you to take down and remove your tree. If you need to come outside of those times or wish to leave your tree for the Christmas Services, please contact Sue to arrange a mutually convenient time.

Festival Prizes:
There will be 3 prizes: the best tree decorated by adults, the best tree decorated by children/family, and the most ingenious or original design.

St Peters Church – 29th November 2021 – copyright Gillatphotography