CHRISTMAS cheer at a Gold Coast parish will literally be overshadowed by the decorations as parishioners put the final touches on a three-storey tree.
The community at Guardian Angels Church, one of three churches in the Southport parish, bought a 7m Christmas tree for its annual family party on November 25.
It is believed to be the tallest Christmas tree sold to a Catholic group on the Gold Coast, weighing in at nearly 200kg and reaching close to the legal height of a three-storey building.
Students at Guardian Angels Primary School, located across the road from the church, have made hand-painted clay hearts to hang on the tree.
Those same students will be invited to the Christmas party and given a free feed beneath the tree, which is standing tall in the school grounds.
School principal Stephen Montgomery said the opportunity to have a free meal was a gracious gift for several families.
Mr Montgomery was aware of a number of families who would not be able to afford food for Christmas.
One thousand children are expected to receive a free feed at the party.
Parishioner Chris Yates said the parish “aimed for the stars” when planning its Christmas celebrations this year.
“We have targeted the barbecue entirely on children and families, (and) hard-working volunteers have made it possible to allow all attending school-age children to eat for free,” Mr Yates said.
The party is also an opportunity to extend a welcoming hand to parents to “wander across the road” and be part of the Guardian Angels parish.
“Many people suffer from time restraints, but we want them to see our Christmas party, then if they want to, they can wander across the road and see how great the parish is,” Mr Yates said.
He even borrowed a slogan used by Gold Coast dean Fr Tim Harris during the official opening of a new church at Surfers Paradise.
“When Fr Tim built Stella Maris, he said it was ‘the church that faith built’,” Mr Yates said.
“This is the tree that faith built.”
After the Christmas party, parishioners will carry the Christmas tree across the road where it will remain outside the church during Advent.
The Southport Christmas Family Party was to have been held on November 25 at 5.30pm at Guardian Angels School, Ashmore.
By Emilie Ng