THIS year’s Romsey Abbey Christmas Fair has been declared a success by organisers after attracting more than 1,250 visitors.

The event was opened by town crier Terry Hamer, with the Vicar of Romsey, Rev Canon Thomas Wharton, and Father Christmas.

Visitors included the Mayor and Mayoress of Test Valley, Cllr Philip Lashbrook and Cllr Linda Lashbrook, the Mayor of Romsey, Cllr John Ray and Caroline Nokes MP.

Hampshire Chronicle: Romsey Abbey Primary School children performingRomsey Abbey Primary School children performing (Image: Philip Clewer)READ MORE: The best photos from the Romsey Winter Carnival as crowds line the streets

Shoppers were welcomed to the fair by the Romsey Abbey Bell Ringers, who performed a repertoire of tunes on handbells. Pupils of Romsey Abbey Church of England School choir and performers from Romsey Voices also performed festive music, with both groups directed by Marion Maxey.

Father Christmas took photos with children and their families, while Hook the Duck and Splat the Rat stalls offered alternative fun and games.

There was also hair tinsel and braiding done by Aura Hair Design, Romsey.

Hampshire Chronicle: Father Christmas greeted children at the fairFather Christmas greeted children at the fair (Image: Philip Clewer)Other attractions included a teddy bear tombola, a range of book stalls, and the Friends of Romsey Abbey Bottle Tombola, with more than 200 bottles up for grabs. The abbey’s catering team provided homemade cakes and soups to shoppers.

SEE ALSO: How much all the food and drink costs at the Cathedral Christmas Market

Liz Wagner, the Abbey Fair organiser, said: “We are thrilled to welcome so many into the Abbey for this wonderful community event.”

Hampshire Chronicle: L-R: Father Christmas, town crier Terry Hamer and Revd Canon Thomas Wharton, the Vicar of RomseyL-R: Father Christmas, town crier Terry Hamer and Revd Canon Thomas Wharton, the Vicar of Romsey (Image: Philip Clewer)Rev Canon Wharton added: “It was so good to see the fair so well supported by the community. The fair is only possible because of the generosity of our parishioners who kindly donate all the goods to sell and this year the sum raised exceeds any previous Abbey Fair at £7,500. These funds will be used to support the mission and ministry of the Abbey within the community.

“We have already set the date for next year’s Abbey Christmas Fair, it will be on Saturday, November 30, 2024, and hope all our supporters will put this date in their diaries!”