Christmas Tree Festival 2023

After a fantastic Christmas Tree Festival in 2022, we are delighted to invite you to join in with the Christmas Tree Festival in Stroud for 2023! We already have 106 trees booked in this year! The Festival runs from 1st December to 10th December 2023 at St Laurence Church, Stroud.
This years theme for the Festival is “Inclusivity”. The festival is a great opportunity for all to visit the wonderful organisations and businesses that we have around Stroud. 
We are collecting non perishable goods for the various food hubs around Stroud and new packets of underwear for men and women for the Gloucester City Mission.
We can only hold the Christmas Tree Festival with the help of volunteers to be present in the church. Would you be able to volunteer some time during the festival to be present in the church, direct visitors and offer tea and coffee? If so do contact us on

On Thursday 30th November 2023 we will be holding a Networking Event to open the Festival, fr the exhibitors and volunteers to have a sneak peek at the trees before we open to the public, and an opportunity for networking. There will be other exciting events happening throughout the Festival too, with Goodwill Evening on 1st December and two fantastic concerts.

The church is also looking to become a real central hub for the town and this festival is raising funds to keep the church going with essential repairs and to plan for an exciting, transformed future (oh, and a new roof!).

We look forward to hearing from you and seeing you at the Festival! Jenny & Camilla Stroud Christmas Tree Festival
The concerts:-
Saturday December 2nd 7.30
Alyn Shipton’s New Orleans Friends 

St Laurence Church, Church Street, Stroud, GL5 1JLTickets £15 and £10 (concs)

At the door

Following last year’s successful Jazz at Vespers event as part of Stroud’s Festival of Wonder, which had the audience dancing in the aisles, this popular band returns for another appearance.

Come along and hear traditional jazz in a gospel concert setting surrounded by 100 beautiful community Christmas Trees.

The New Orleans Friends re-explore and revive the repertoire that clarinettist George Lewis made famous in New Orleans in the 1950’s. ‘Jazz at Vespers’ runs the full emotional range from soft, contemplative pieces to joyous outpourings of infectious rhythms from lesser known pieces such as “The Old Rugged Cross” and “Jerusalem Blues” to old favourites like “Down By The Riverside” and “Lord, Lord, Lord, You Surely Been Good To Me”. And just like the Lewis band of the ’50s, Alyn’s jazz friends play entirely acoustically without amplification.

 The band:
Alyn Shipton is well known as a broadcaster and jazz historian and bass player, and has been the inspiration and leader of many bands since his teens.

Tom Sancton, clarinettist, grew up in New Orleans, and was a student of George Lewis and is an expert in traditional clarinet styles.

Finlay Milne has played trumpet in a variety of jazz settings from traditional brass bands to dance groups, including a long association with Northampton’s Ginger Pig Band.

Simon Picton hails from Dundee and has played guitar and banjo with a wide variety of jazz and r’n’b bands, ranging from the Pasadena Roof Orchestra to T J Johnson, as well as leading his own bands.

Emile Martyn is a specialist in traditional jazz drumming styles, and has lived and worked in New Orleans, playing with many of the city’s musicians.

Martin Litton is one of the UK’s leading traditional jazz pianists, and an expert in both the New Orleans approach of Jelly Roll Morton and the New York stride piano style.

With decades of experience between them and a repertoire of joyous and spiritual beauty this an evening not to be missed.

Only 100 tickets for sale – make this your early Christmas treat in a spectacular setting.

Wednesday December 6th 7.30
Divine Sound

North Indian Classical Song with Deepa Hattangady Karnad and Sanjay Jhala (Tabla).

St Laurence Church, Church Street, Stroud, GL5 1JL

Tickets £15 and £10 (concs)

Tickets at the door 

We are thrilled to be presenting a magical winter’s concert with Deepa Hattangady Karnad at St Laurence Church on Wednesday December 6th 2023 at 7.30pm as part of the Christmas Tree Festival celebrations.

Deepa will be offering a beautiful evening concert of North Indian Songs surrounded by the wonderful community Christmas Trees. Deepa will be accompanied by master tabla player Sanjay Jhalla.

Deepa is noted for her mellifluous voice, articulate unfolding of the raga and extensive depth of repertoire. She has studied for many years with great teachers from the North Indian schools and is herself on a continuous journey of learning and devotion. She has performed throughout Britain, the USA and India.

St Laurence Church is known for its sacred music and Deepa will take us on a journey through some of the inspiring musical poetry of North India. She will introduce us to the poets, translate the words for us, show us the way to listen to the raga and emotion and lead us forward to a blissful sound resonating through this wonderful church.


There are only 100 tickets to be sold –  don’t miss this special occasion for all who love Indian music and for those who want to know more. The concert will be in two parts with refreshments in the interval.

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Communion during this time

In these unprecedented times, we are working hard to find imaginative solutions in a landscape that has been rapidly changing. Sometimes we get things right, and sometimes we miss the mark. I apologise that this has been the case regarding communion.

For those of you who have received wafers in a parcel, we would ask that you either consume them, or put them somewhere safe to bring back once we are able to be together again.

We are going to be sending out a new order of service for use during this time as either a simple service of the word or, on occasion, to help us to share an Agape meal together.

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