It may only be August but thoughts are already turning to Christmas at Lichfield Cathedral.
Cathedral staff have announced their first Cathedral Christmas Tree Festival to take place later in the year and they are encouraging the whole community to get involved.
Local businesses, schools, charities and community groups are being invited to decorate their own tree with a personal theme, message or simply their own interpretation of Christmas.
The trees will go on display in the medieval cathedral from 22 to 25 November.
Members of the public will pay £1 per vote to choose their favourite tree. The creators of the winning tree will receive a special prize and the proceeds raised will go towards the cathedral's East End Appeal.
The Christmas trees are being provided by the Forestry Commission on Cannock Chase and decorators will have the opportunity to buy their tree from the Forestry Commission.
Rob Lamb, recreation ranger from the Forestry Commission said: “We’re really excited to be part of the first Lichfield Cathedral Tree Festival. Christmas is a special time on Cannock Chase and this is a fantastic opportunity to take real Christmas trees to Lichfield Cathedral and be involved in this wonderful community event.”
In addition to the trees, the festival will also feature a colourful exhibition of Nativity scenes and crib sets from around the world.
Patricia Collins, Director of Fundraising said of the event: “I am delighted the Forestry Commission have joined us to provide what promises to be a fascinating and colourful festival of trees for Lichfield.
"The whole community will be eager to see the displays our schools, charities and businesses produce together.
"The nativity scenes in the exhibition show how the story of the birth of Christ has been interpreted in many different ways each with its own charm and character and reminds us what Christmas is really about.”
Groups are being asked to pay £10 to participate in the festival and register their interest by 28 September.
On the web: www.lichfield-cathedral.org