A CHURCH was lit up with 50 Christmas trees over the weekend as part of a popular festival.

Community groups and charities joined forces again to decorate trees inside All Saints Church, in Northallerton.

The Christmas Tree Festival took a break last year after three successful years, but returned this year due to popular demand.

The event ran from Friday until today.

The Northern Echo:

Local business sponsored trees to be decorated by community groups, with live music and a special "prayer tree" so that people can remember family and friends no longer with them.

The Military Wives Choir was also performing.

The Northern Echo:

One of Northallerton’s newest charities also took part in the event,

The Living Rooms, which launches on December 6 but had a "soft opening" only two weeks ago, is decorating one of the 50 trees.

The project, based in the Garthway Arcade, offers an open house and support for people with issues ranging from loneliness and depression to anxiety and stress.

The Living Rooms, complete with sofas and chairs, is a place where people can feel safe and have someone to talk to. Visitors can chat over a coffee or tea, sit quietly or join in the various craft or other activities taking place.

It has been pioneered by Steve Cowie, a Pastor from New Life Baptist Church in Northallerton. The project also works in partnership with a wide range of organisations including Hambleton FoodShare, Jubilee Debt Advice, Renew Wellbeing and NHS mental health teams.

The Northern Echo:

Other groups taking part in the Christmas tree festival ranged from brownies and bellringers to cafés, cancer charities, guide dog associations, hospices, schools and colleges. The trees were in place for a special service yesterday.