Christmas came early on Old Road, Brampton, Chesterfield, when Santa Claus arrived at The Gospel Mission’s Christmas Fayre.
The church’s event has increasingly become a real community get together and The Mission Cafe which opens on these occasions means that people could sit, relax and have a chat with friends and neighbours.
Shops, businesses and neighbours in the Old Road part of Brampton helped with contributions of prizes and advertising and many families turned up with their children to see Santa arrive with his sack of presents.
One different aspect of this Fayre is that, during the afternoon, neighbours were asked to find room for Mary and Joseph during advent which starts in a couple of weeks. Figurines of the Holy Couple will move from house to house during the Christmas season and then be placed back in the church nativity scene ready for Christmas Day service. Many neighbours will take part in their ‘journey’.
During the Fayre shoe boxes packed with gifts for children in poorer countries were brought in and collecting candles for the church’s Christingle appeal for The Children’s Society were distributed.
Chris Townsend, church secretary, said: “There has been a good feel in The Mission this afternoon.
“The sense of a community coming together has been obvious and we are really delighted that local people are going to take part in the journey of Mary and Joseph.
“Local people have also been deeply involved in our shoe box appeal which has been so successful. Old Road is a tremendous community for the church to serve.”