Villagers in East Bergholt will be celebrating Christmas Eve in style this year – with a spectacular COVID-secure float parade.
A total of 16 festive floats are currently under construction ready for the parade at 3.30pm on Christmas Eve.
The village church’s popular Christmas Eve services usually attract more than 700 people but due to the coronavirus pandemic, it would have to be limited to no more than 70.
Determined that residents would not miss out on the festivities this year, the team at the church started thinking about other ways the village could celebrate the occasion.
Churchwarden Liz Digby came up with the winning idea.
She said: “We hope this will be something nice for families to remember about 2020 – that it was not just the year of the coronavirus. We thought if people cannot come to the church on Christmas Eve, the church would come to them. It will be lovely to get everyone together, socially distanced of course.”
Villagers have been asked to come out and see the parade from the pavement and light their mobile phones up - but to make sure they stay apart.
People from neighbouring villages have been asked not to attend the parade, as it would increase the risk of spreading the virus.
The Revd Stephne van der Toorn, rector of East Bergholt and Brantham said: “The community have really supported one another this year, looking after their neighbours and making sure everyone is cared for. It is really nice and fitting we can spread a little comfort and joy to the people of East Bergholt this Christmas.”
To add to the festivities, the church has also organised a Christmas donkey hunt in the village.
A total of 15 wooden donkeys have been hidden around East Bergholt, with residents challenged to find them all.
Rev van der Toorn added: “The Church is very grateful to the Community Council and the East Bergholt Parish Council for their support of the project and to East Bergholt High School Technology and Art Departments who made the donkeys for us. The donkey trail is up and trotting and people are having fun finding them all.”
For more information visit the Bergholt Bulletin Facebook page.