MANy churches in Penang are now decked with the finest Christmas trimmings but a few are opting to use recyclable materials.
Wesley Methodist Church Butterworth in Permatang Pauh has embarked on an all-paper decoration theme this year.
The church’s 2.4m-tall tree is decked with bright red and green handmade paper pinwheels of four different sizes made from wrapping paper.
Volunteer Sybil Visvanathan said the move was cost-saving and the paper decorations fastened with paper clips could be folded back and reused next year.
“The pinwheels are quite easy to make.
“This is our small way of promoting a green message, ” she said, adding that they also hung paper lanterns at the entrance downstairs.
The youths at Gateway City Church in Seberang Jaya also made their own decorations using plastic bottles, ice-cream sticks, straws and tissue boxes.
Youth leader Raymond Jude Peter said they wanted to create awareness about the environment among the youths while allowing them to express their creativity during the festive season.
“This is our first attempt at making Christmas decorations.
“We enjoyed it. We hope to make more such decorations next year, ” he said.
At Cathedral of the Holy Spirit in Green Lane, parishioners decorated their nativity stable using brown kraft paper, cardboard boxes, garbage bags filled with old news- papers and empty mineral water bottles.
Decorations team leader Paul Newman said they reused materials that were used as props in their earlier Easter musical called ‘The Witness’.
“The leftover materials included metal frames, carpet pieces, scrap plywood, foam sponges and a multiple-use platform base.
“The plastic bottles were used as lighting fixtures with LED bulbs, ” he said.
At St Anne’s Church Bukit Mertajam, assistant priest Monsignor Henry Rajoo said that besides plywood and twigs, they also used brown kraft paper that was crumpled and painted to be the stable backdrop.
“We also used wood pieces for the awning of the stable, ” he added.
Church of Divine Mercy Sungai Ara vicar Rev Father Martin Andrews Arlando said their church nativity stable was also designed using twigs, branches and dried grass while some creative volunteers made big wreaths using recycled CDs.
A Trinity Methodist Church Penang member said the Christmas decorations at the church were kept simple, noting that it was their way of helping to save the environment.
Over at St Mark’s Church Butterworth, a 3m-tall Christmas tree is decked out in full grandeur.
Volunteer Sarah Selvaraj-Charles said she arranged the lights in a circular manner on the tree besides placing recycled baubles as well as poinsettias all around them.
“We used 13 sets of sodium colour lights consisting of 1,300 bulbs to give that classic old feel to the tree.
“We spent nearly 50 hours to decorate the tree, ” she said.
At St George’s Church Penang, couple Heiko Haupt and Keren Yharina initiated the tree decorating with help from four young children.
The 3m-tall tree has red poinsettias and snowflakes alternating in rows with little stockings and baubles to add sparkle to the decorations.
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