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Dereham church celebrates Christmas in wreaths 

Lyn Milns from Dereham Baptist Church has been developing a Christmas wreath festival in the church and through the town. She explains how the idea arose.

In 2018 I went on a coach outing to a Christmas market and decided to explore the little back streets. I found a very old small church with a poster inviting people into their Wreath Festival. 

I went into this enchanting little church with its pews covered in wreaths made by local schools and groups. I thought it was a wonderful idea which I shared with my Minister, Nigel Bayley at Dereham Baptist Church, who was happy for me to organise one for 2019. It was a great success with schools, clubs, charity organisations and care homes displaying wreaths. 

Traditional wreaths form a circle, reflecting the eternal presence of God, with no beginning and no end, and the hope of eternal life through Christ the Saviour.  

The 2020 pandemic meant a rethink, as the festival couldn’t be held in the church. So together with my team (Sandy Taylor and June Watkinson), I made the decision to hold the festival by having the wreaths displayed in the town centre shops. Invites were sent out and 37 numbered wreaths were displayed around the town, making a fun wreath-finding trail.  

This year the festival could go ahead in the church and invites sent out brought quick responses.

But what about our wonderful shops? We decided to do the Christmas Wreath Trail again too. The shops and businesses needed a boost and I wanted people to see what we have in Dereham by looking for the wreaths. 

The invites created a lot of excitement as many shops and businesses accepted and soon got busy creating wreaths. We were delighted as 55 numbered wreaths were going to be on display in windows from December 1 till Christmas. 

Numbered checklists for the trail are available at Dereham Library, Green Pastures and YMCA Charity shop.

The Christmas Wreath Festival in the church with 38 Wreaths on display from schools, care homes and charity organisations takes place on Thursday December 16 from 12-4pm, and Friday 17 and Saturday 18 from 10am – 4pm. All events are free.

Pictured above is one of the wreaths from the festival.  



Eldred Willey, 13/12/2021

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