Without doubt, the 2023 Christmas Market was one of the best of recent years. From a financial point of view, it raised €15,180 which exceeded all expectations. In fact, the amount raised is the second highest figure in the last ten years.
However, the Christmas Market is not just about raising money, important though that is! It is also a major social event attended not only by parishioners but by their friends and neighbours and those from neighbouring church communities. It is hard work, and there is much pulling, dragging, assembling, and dismantling but it is always done with a heart and a half and plenty of good humour. As always, we are grateful to all who donated items for the various stalls and ensured that everything was in good condition. Hazel Bolton, who has been associated with the organisation of the market for many years, was again to the fore in liaising with the stallholders. The kitchen was under new management this year and Sally Anne Edwards and her helpers did a fantastic job. The cake stall and toy stall were particularly popular as was the bric-a-brac section. There was an amazing array of bottles on the bottle stall – even the Rector won a bottle of Prosecco and a lovely selection of gifts for sale on the gift stall. The deli stall was packed with homemade jams, chutneys and ready-made meals and upstairs there was plenty of festive cheer in the Coffee Dock area with mulled wine, mince pies and fresh cream. Next door, the ever-popular book stall, did a roaring trade, and several people reported some great finds!
One of the major features of the Malahide Market is the raffle organised by Emer Bryan who does such a great job of securing some fantastic prizes and getting the tickets printed. Ticket sales continued up until the last minute when the draw was made by the Rector and a number of children who were in the hall. There were some great prizes including a Ferry Trip for four passengers and car to Britain; an X Box , various vouchers for local restaurants and shops and, as ever, we are most grateful to our very generous donors. Members of Fingal Gospel Choir, accompanied by Tenny Firth, provided live Christmas music and added a real buzz to the occasion, and they have promised to return next year for which the planning has already begun!
Lucy Michael, a member of Select Vestry, has undertaken a feedback survey, made available to all parishioners online, to assist the Select Vestry and Fundraising Committee in planning for 2024. Meanwhile, we can take a well-earned break and reflect on a most successful and enjoyable event which is held on the last Saturday of November every year.