Diocese of ChichesterDiocese of Chichester

Burgess Hill Christmas Tree lights stolen

Burgess Hill Christmas Tree lights stolen

The annual Christmas tree lighting service at St John’s, and the outside tree lights that stay on until the New Year, are under threat this Christmas, as thieves have stolen all the lights from the tree.

Four years ago St John’s Church realised that Burgess Hill no longer had a town Christmas Tree and wanted to put that right. With funds contributed from the Church and a very generous donation from P & S Gallagher Funeral Services across the road, LED lights were fitted to the tree and powered from the church. “Each year we have added more lights, as Gallagher’s have given additional donations and have very kindly funded the industrial hoist to lift workers to the top of the tree.” By Christmas 2017 the tree had up to 6000 lights and around 180 people would attend the tree lighting service, with a child chosen from the crowd to turn the switch.

This year however, thieves have stripped all the lights from the tree and at a potential replacement cost of over £1000, St John’s is concerned that it may not be possible to have the town Christmas tree illuminated this year. “We shall have to dig deep to see what can be afforded this year” said Vicar of St John’s Burgess Hill, “If anyone would like to help us with the cost we do have a MyDonate crowdfunding page for donations of any size. We are determined that Christmas 2018 will remain as bright as ever.”

St John’s church is very busy in the community, running a café with low cost meals across the week, it hosts the community food bank, a dementia café and stroke club. It also has an IT drop-in for ‘silver surfers’ and hosts cookery classes for those in assisted living, with many community groups using the café and other rooms for meetings and events.

The MyDonate page can be found at:

https://mydonate.bt.com/charities/stjohnschurch