Lights switch-on hailed a success

Griff Rhys Jones with Reverend Michael Eden, Geoff Marchant and Judy Eden
Griff Rhys Jones with Reverend Michael Eden, Geoff Marchant and Judy Eden
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TV star Griff Rhys Jones and Ipswich Town legend Matt Holland were in Stowmarket on Friday to switch on the town’s spectacular Christmas lights.

The Christmas lights switch-on, organised by Stowmarket Town Centre Partnership with support from Stowmarket Town Council, saw a wealth of live music, childrens entertainment and stalls fill the town centre.

There were charity and market stalls, Santa and his sleigh and performances by the Stowmarket Salvation Army Band and Stowupland High School Jazz Band.

Town Centre Manager Sharon Brown said she had never seen the town so busy.

She said: “The church Christmas tree lights were turned on at around 6.30pm followed by the town lights at 7.15pm by Griff Rhys Jones.

“Griff and Matt Holland were both really nice people, really easy to talk to and certainly added something to the evening.

“There were more people in Stowmarket that night than I have ever seen in the town.

“It was a great evening, a real success.”

St Peter and St Mary’s Church hosted its eighth Christmas Tree Festival with an incredible 285 trees on display.

The Rev Michael Eden said the church had seen thousands of people come to view the trees.

He said: “We must have had 1,200 people in the church throughout the evening – over the entire weekend we must have a nearly 3,000.

“It was an amazing festive evening.

“Griff Rhys Jones and Matt Holland came to switch the lights on – and all the bulbs worked.

“Being a big church, a 700 year old grade one listed building, we have to have something on a grand scale.

“We have had 285 Christmas trees on display this year - 148 of them with lights.

“We are keeping the trees here until January 5 so people can come and see them – they really are magnificent.”