St John's Golden Church is more sparkly than ever after setting up more than 50 Christmas trees decorated by various community groups for the fifth year in a row.
The Kamo church opens its doors daily in the lead-up to Christmas, inviting visitors to marvel at the Festival of Christmas Trees and enjoy a moment of festive happiness.
"The festival is for families to come and have a good time without all the pressure around Christmas. It's not about presents or Santa – we want to provide people with a happy atmosphere," Beryl McGunnigle, Festival of Christmas Trees committee member, said.
On Friday, community groups – from schools and kindergartens to churches, charities and crafting groups – came to decorate the trees giving each a unique appearance and story to go with them.
Knitted crafts, hand-made ornaments and shining Christmas lights create a colourful array throughout the halls of St John's Church.
Music and other entertainment are also scheduled over the coming weeks, and biscuits and drinks are on offer for peckish visitors.
Kindergartens and schools come to the church for storytime, and on December 17, the committee has organised a brass band which will start playing at 6.30pm.
McGunnigle said there wasn't much else on offer in Whangarei for families to enjoy the festive season and look at Christmas installations.
"We started the Festival of Christmas Trees five years ago. It used to be part of the Whangārei Christmas Lights Trail. Last year we had around 2000 visitors here. It's particularly beautiful in the evening," McGunnigle said.
St John's Golden Church on 149 Kamo Rd is open 10am-1pm and 6.30-9.30pm. The Festival of Christmas Trees will be on display until December 24.