A HUGE fundraising effort has begun to collect almost £20,000 to save Christmas in Moreton-in-Marsh.

Each year Moreton plays host to a Christmas market and lights switch-on event, however this year the occasion is in jeopardy.

Organisers of the festive fun day have launched a fundraiser, hoping to raise £18,000 for replace each and every light in the town.

Andy Everson, of the Moreton in Marsh Christmas Lights Committee, said: “Moreton-in-Marsh's Christmas lights are desperately in need of updating so we are raising funds to replace the town's lights in their entirety.

“The lights have been up for around 15 years now, so I think it’s about time we replace them.

“We would like all of Moreton to get on board and contribute, whether that’s by sponsoring just a couple lights or even a few strings.”

Andy is one of just five committee members who independently organise the market and lights each year.

This year the Christmas market and lights switch-on will take place on Saturday, November 27, with Father Christmas himself doing the honours.

Andy added that so far they have raised around five to six thousand pounds thanks to both the generosity of the public and numerous local businesses and organisations.

He also stated that they have employed a local firm to complete the work.

He said: “We will be engaging a local business to purchase the lights so are pleased to say we are also supporting local business.

“We thank them for their assistance in making this a more achievable target for our fundraising.

“Once again thank you to everyone who has contributed to us so far and let's keep the momentum going.”

Money will also be used to decorate two large Christmas trees in the town.

Among the donors are the team at Grimes House Gallery, who have put £100 towards the cause.

A spokesperson said: “Well done to a great small committee. Now all the other Moreton businesses dig deep!”

Another donor, Nickki Eden, said: “There would soon be a lot of complaints if we don’t have Christmas lights. Let’s be proud of our town and make it look special at Christmas. Support the cause if you can.”

Fellow Moreton resident, Bronwyn Heywood, said: “We love the Moreton lights and have always appreciated the work involved in getting the trees up and the town decorated! Thank you all so much! Hope we can raise enough to get some new ones!”