A CHURCH in Hampshire will be celebrating Christmas a little differently this year but spirits remain high.

The community of Pennington has joined their knitting needles together to celebrate the festive season.

St Mark's Church now boasts a 7m tall knitted Christmas tree and a crotched nativity.

Over 300 knitted and crocheted squares were made by more than 50 people across the town.

The vicar has crocheted the nativity characters, complete with facemasks for 2020.

Pupils for the local infants, juniors, primary, preschool and nursery have also decorated recycled estate agent signs to create an Advent Calendar that is unfolding on the hedge.

Vicar Rev. Rachel Noёl wanted a way to connect the community with something uplifting that everyone could be a part of.

Rachel said “I knew I needed a crochet project this season to help with my own mental health during this pandemic. I decided to open it up to everyone to take part, to help create opportunities for glimpses of light, hope and joy this season.

"Usually we’d work together to create a large community Christmas fayre, obviously that’s not possible this year, my hope is that through the daily videos and the decorations on the hedge, that it helps to draw us together in the village, to be proud of what we have achieved when we all work together, and to be reminded of the joy of God at Christmas.”

Due to coronavirus lockdown restrictions the church has not be able to run normal services and instead stream online.

Volunteer Paul Young said: "We wanted to celebrate the breadth of our community in an uplifting festive way.

"It has been so encouraging that so many people have got involved to help cheer up the whole community.”

Local resident Alan Doe made the construction ideas into reality by creating a framework that has enabled the yarn bomb Christmas tree to keep growing as more squares are made.

After Christmas, the squares will be turned into blankets for those in need.