Erith Community Christmas Tree Project


I confess that I cannot resist decorating every room in my house for Christmas and a quarter of my loft is taken over by Christmas decorations, so when Centrepieces needed someone to design and set up a tree to support a community project in a church in Erith I had to volunteer! The added incentive to raise money for the church and local hospice made the whole enterprise really enticing.

I wanted to do something a little different and came up with the vision of an ethereal Christmas angel, using the tree as her body.

The title of my tree was 'Spirit of Christmas Past'. 

I was running a workshop using salt dough and several of the artists there helped to create decorations in cool blues, silver and white.

Such was my enthusiasm that I was up till 1am one night making tissue paper roses which I frosted with artificial snow to add to the glamour of the figure. The ribbon garlands used to create the impression of a dress were made from old net curtains.

I made the face of the spirit from salt dough, which was then painted and varnished. I wanted her to have long, icy hair and used a roll of cling film which really caught the light in the church.
I had to have fairy lights to complete the magic and sparkle of her dress along with some baubles and silver beads to use as her jewels.

I am fortunate that Duncan and Paul offered (they would tell a different tale) to help me put up the tree in the church and as it took four hours.  I would like to thank them, especially as neither really enjoys the Christmas festivities. 

Adding to their torment that afternoon, was that the vicar had thoughtfully put together a compilation CD of carols and classic Christmas popular songs. This played on a continuous loop for the whole of our time there!

The huge church looked spectacular with about 70 trees filling the aisles.  Our tree caused so much interest and it was great to get feedback from the organisers who were delighted that we dared to be so different in our theme. They told me that it had provoked so much interest. They said that our tree was 'stunning' and can't wait to see what we do next year...I cannot resist a challenge and only 11 months to go...

Written by Denise Tarrant

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  1. Great event, Great inspiration and leadership by Denise, Great tree and the Church folks made us very welcome. Cannot wait for the Bah Humbug season to return !!!!!


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