Christmas is inspiring community spirit in Cathays

A local group is aiming to bring people together with a community funded Christmas tree festival at Cathays Library.

Christmas spirit has descended on Cathays in preparation for the first ever Christmas Tree Festival.

A local group are building village spirit in the heart of the city with a community funded Christmas tree festival this Friday.

Cathays Compass, a group founded with the aim of inspiring community spirit, has raised money for the first ever Cathays Christmas tree festival. The multi-faith event will be held opposite Cathays library.

Anne Smith, chair of the Compass, was excited about the prospect of the tree going up on a paved area of land behind St Monica’s school. The area has been adopted by the group as a substitute village green.

“We had a very successful spring fair on that area and we wanted to carry on from that and put our Christmas tree there. We have worked really hard to raise funds for the Christmas tree and come together as a community,” said Anne, “It is open to all faiths, all colours, all creeds, all religions, everybody is open to come along [and] join in with us on that day.”

A tinsel soldier stands guard at the tree.

The event will see a pop up bar serving mulled wine at the library, which is opening especially for the occasion, along with non-alcoholic options, teas, coffees and mince pies.

Entertainment will be running from 3pm with contributions from the local schools, the Salvation Army and a local choir.

The main event of turning on the tree lights is scheduled for five o’clock. The commanding officer of the Welsh Guards, who are barracked on the Whitchurch Road, will be doing the honours.

Cathays library has opened especially for the festival.

Cathays Compass was founded a year ago with the aim of trying to rekindle “village philosophy in the Cathays area.”

“A few people decided to start something that would start putting the heart back into Cathays and start raising the profile of Cathays,” said Anne, “It is a bit unique because it is not a government backed regeneration scheme, it is led by those who are working, practising their religion or living in the area.”

“It is all about [bringing] it all back together and back to old fashioned values. Under all our faiths and all our different dress we are all human beings and you know if we all got on and treated each other as human beings the world would be a much nicer place.”

The group doesn’t intend to stop with this festival, plans are already in motion for events next year.

Following the success of their spring fair last April, which had 40 stalls and over 2000 visitors, they intend to go even bigger and better in 2018.

“Our next plan is to involve some more of the businesses and maybe look at doing something like a food festival or something like that next year so we can draw the businesses in more, as Cathays is becoming an eating place,” said Anne.