At Freshbrook Evangelical Church they really enjoy putting on a Christmas Market.
Christmas obviously has special meaning to the church, and at this special time of the year they love to share it with the local community in a warm, fun and charitable way.
The market has a cosy feel to it – not least because it’s bustling and it’s indoors. It is very much a community market where people will not only find interesting gifts, but can also sit down, relax and enjoy a chat with neighbours and friends, and indulge in some unusual festive delights (ever tried a Transylvanian honey biscuit?).
They love involving the local schools and in past years, Millbrook school children have enchanted the Market with renditions of Christmas songs. Friends of the church have got together to act and play music to add zest to the event.
Many bemoan the commercialization of Christmas, but at Freshbrook, the Christmas market is always in aid of a good local cause. This year they are supporting the Night Shelter charity. Night Shelter provides help, food and a place to stay for the dejected and homeless at weekends. In the last year alone they have had 617 guests, with ages ranging from 18–70; the busiest night saw 23 guests. The comfort that such work brings to those in such
need is immense.
Many stories could be told, but this is what one guest, Charlie, had to say: “[I had] nowhere else to go, literally nowhere else. It’s a warm welcome; people cared, people listened. It’s somewhere to sleep, somewhere to clean up – it gives you a bit more self-respect and dignity, which you lose when you’re on the street.”
The Christmas Market is on Saturday 3rd December between 3pm – 6pm at Freshbrook Evangelical Church, Worsley Road, Freshbrook, Swindon SN5 8NU, or visit http://www.freshbrook.org/ for more details.