Christmas Still Comes to Bishop Auckland Town

Christmas has come to town in Bishop Auckland. The town is going to be aglow with Christmas Lights and the jingle of bells in the countdown to Christmas. Partners have come together to bring a bit of festive cheer throughout December with a range of projects across Bishop Auckland.

Christmas Tree outside of Bishop Auckland Town Hall
Christmas Tree outside of Bishop Auckland Town Hall

A jingle bell theme is present as Bishop Auckland Town Council are on board with ‘Worldwide Christmas Eve Jingle’ where households are encouraged to be on their doorsteps to ring a bell at 6pm Christmas Eve to raise Christmas spirit and help Santa’s sleigh fly to each child’s destination.
To compliment the theme the Town Council are running a colouring competition to decorate a picture of Jingle Bells. Entrants have the opportunity to win a Christmas Hamper Box full of goodies all sourced from Bishop Auckland.

The Town Council have supplied, with support from Regeneration Development at South Durham Enterprise Agency, additional decorations to the market place, Bishop Auckland Railway station and Woodhouse Close Community Centre as the usual Christmas Light Switch on event, wasn’t able to take place under the current government COVID guidelines. One of the major attractions will be a Christmas light installation projection onto St Anne’s Church, in the Market Place, which will go live from Thursday 10th December 2020. The projection can be viewed between 4-8pm each Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening on the run up to Christmas.

Councillor Joy Allen, Mayor of Bishop Auckland said: “Christmas is such an important time of year and even more so after the year we have had. As a Town Council the light switch on event is one of our favourites as it brings everyone together, so it is a shame that we couldn’t do what we usually do this year. However not to be defeated by the ongoing restrictions we decided Christmas was still coming to Town. We want everyone to know that Bishop Auckland is open for business and we have some fabulous local and independent businesses who need shoppers support more than ever.

I encourage everyone to pop into town to shop local, see our lovely lights and to enter out lovely Jingle bell Colouring competition, as you could win a beautiful box of Bishop Auckland goodies. All of the gifts including the Christmas Eve box have been sourced from local businesses in the town.”

As part of the Christmas program, Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of County Durham Mrs Sue Snowdon has recited a beautiful Christmas Bells poem, written by Beryl Anderson, to support the Christmas Eve Jingle, alongside the buglers from the 8th Rifles performed inside Auckland Castle. This is available online to share with children.

Her Majesty‘s Lord Lieutenant of County Durham Mrs Sue Snowdon, reading Santa Bells in the Gentleman's Hall of Auckland Castle with the fanfare of Bells from the 8th Rifles.
Her Majesty‘s Lord Lieutenant of County Durham Mrs Sue Snowdon, reading Santa Bells in the Gentleman’s Hall of Auckland Castle with the fanfare of Bells from the 8th Rifles.

 

Beryl Anderson from Regeneration Development at South Durham Enterprise Agency said: “It has been an amazing opportunity to work with so many different organisations and companies who all have supported the Town council in an attempt to lift people’s spirits.”

Other Partners including the Auckland Project, Angel Trust and the faith communities have a range of Christmas Projects going on too. These include some virtual Church services arranged by Rev. Eileen Harrop and Bishop Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham, as well as windows decorated by the Angel Trust, the Auckland project and an online Bells Street dance performed in the grounds of Auckland Castle – by the “Prophecy Team “ at Extreme Dance fusion, so there is lot to see in the Town and online.

The Auckland Project have pledged their support by decorating the Auckland Tower in collaboration with Daisy Arts, their horticulture teams have added lovely foliage and wreaths to their doors round the Market place. They also have a beautiful evolving mural in the window of No 42, plus there is ‘selfie’ opportunity in the window of the former Home Bargains shop. Children are invited to stroll through the Bishop’s Park on a lovely Reindeer Trail to the Deer Park where you need to find the missing reindeer, and have the opportunity to win one of these wonderful creations.