Winter Fayre and Christmas Market

Winter Fair and Christmas Market, November 2018

On Friday 30 November, as part of Soham’s Winter Fair, St Andrew’s Church was transformed into the setting for this year’s Christmas Market, creating a magical event for the whole community. In the churchyard, the fayre opened with a wonderful firework display.  The fun continued with free fairground rides and marquees selling old favourites like toffee apples and candy floss. Christmas carols in church accompanied by Soham Comrades Band added to the festive atmosphere. Hundreds of people from the local area came along.

Inside the church, twelve local charities and other community groups had stalls selling a range of goods including Christmas decorations, paper crafts, books, jewellery, knitted items and the Strong Soham Mums 2019 Calendar (www.strongsohammums.co.uk). At this time of year, no event would be complete without Father Christmas, who stopped by to meet the children in a specially-designed grotto in St Andrew’s Church’s children’s corner.

The Christmas Market raised over £500 for St Andrew’s Church, together with funds for the twelve other local charities that had stalls in church. Equally importantly, it was an opportunity for the people of Soham to come together and enjoy a fun, festive event in a very special location.  

St. Andrew's Day in the chancel

It was a happy coincidence that the event co-incided with St Andrew’s Day, our church’s patronal festival.  To mark the occasion, a number of family-orientated activities funded by St Andrew’s’ recent Heritage Lottery Fund grant were run in the chancel to celebrate the life of St Andrew, the fisherman and disciple.Over 40 children had fun making and decorating fish for St Andrew’s net. 

                             

             Decorating fish                                      A super catch for St Andrew’s net

Children could also play ‘spot the saint’ using a specially-designed activity sheet with photos on it showing ‘bits’ of saints depicted in our church’s stained-glass windows. They were also invited to find out the date of their Name Day. Celebrating Name Days is common practice in a number of countries across the world. A Name Day is a special day set aside each year to celebrate the life of a particular saint. If you happen to be named after the saint, you can enjoy yourself too. It’s almost like having a second birthday.  This activity proved very popular with young and old alike: after all who wouldn’t want to celebrate a second birthday?!  

When’s my second birthday?

Thank you!

The Winter Fayre would not be possible without the tireless contribution of many individuals and groups who all pulled together to create and run such an enjoyable occasion.  Thanks to Soham Heritage and Tourism Group for Santa's Grotto, and for organising the outside rides and stalls. And thanks to Soham Town Council who funded the free fairground rides for the children. We are also grateful to Soham Comrades Band for their festive entertainments. Special thanks, too, to all those volunteers who helped out serving refreshments, to St Andrew’s Church’s flower arrangers for their seasonal displays and to Soham Mothers' Union for their Gifts from the Heart corner. 

Photos of the activities that took place in St Andrew’s Church as part of the Winter Fayre can be accessed via https://photos.app.goo.gl/LdnHHb2cz6tx3JRg8