THE Romsey Abbey Christmas Fair returned last weekend, Saturday November 27 and although It was a cold, wet and windy start to the day, those in the queue at the Crosfield Hall patiently waited for the opening.

Romsey’s Town Crier, Terry Hamer, the Mayor of Test Valley, Cllr. Mark Cooper, the Mayor of Romsey, Cllr Karen Dunleavey and the Vicar of Romsey, Revd. Thomas Wharton, were invited to officially open this year’s Christmas fair.

The Romsey Abbey Bell Ringers welcomed shoppers in the entrance hall to the abbey fair with a repertoire of familiar tunes rung on the hand bells. Customers streamed through the door during the morning and bought bargains from the various stalls filled with gifts and prizes of every description and for all ages.

The Friends of Romsey Abbey Bottle Tombola was well stocked with 240 bottles and the Hamper Draw had several well stocked hampers for people to win.

Liz Wagner, the Romsey Abbey Christmas Fair organiser said: “Unfortunately, because of Covid, there were a couple of regular features missing from this year’s fair as Father Christmas was unable to attend and the popular Romsey Abbey C of E Primary School Choir were not able to perform.

“Nevertheless, the fair was a really happy and enjoyable community occasion, and it was so brilliant to be able to run the fair at all. We were very sad that we could not hold the fair last year as, over the years, it has become an important part of the abbey’s calendar.”

The fair, as seen in previous years, showcased the talents of the abbey’s catering team who provided homemade cakes, freshly made soup and sandwiches, mince pies and tea and coffee throughout the fair to customers.

The Revd. Thomas Wharton, Vicar of Romsey said: “It was so good to be able to hold the fair this year and welcome everyone back after the two-year gap. The fair is only possible because of the overwhelming generosity of our parishioners who kindly donate all the goods to sell.

“I am delighted to say that £4,600 was raised at the fair and this will be used to support the mission and ministry of the abbey within the community. Our sincere thanks to all donors and shoppers for making the fair such a success and such a special occasion for everyone.

“We have already set the date for next year’s Romsey Abbey Christmas Fair; it will be on Saturday 26th November 2022 and hope all our supporters will put this date in their diaries!”