PARISHIONERS are invited to tie ribbons on the railings at a Knutsford church to remember those struggling at present and as a symbol of hope.

The initiative is the idea of Allison Whiteley, a Reader minister at St Cross Church in Mobberley Road.

Ribbons can be placed on the railings from Advent, November 29, until Twelfth Night, January 5, and can be any size or colour.

Allison said: “At St Cross we have come up with an idea for all people across Knutsford to be able to show their concern over the Christmas period.

“Ribbons can be tied on the railings for any reason, for a loved one, hope for a vaccine, hope for jobs, or hope to be able to be together at Christmas.

“They can be for family and friends, for those ill with coronavirus, those in hospital or for loved ones who have died.

“Even though our church cannot be open the ribbons are a reminder that we care.

“We hope this small simple act will show the people of Knutsford that people care and hope.”

Reverend Paul Deakin, the vicar at St Cross, said: “In the current climate of restrictions and awareness of the struggles people are going through with illness, loneliness or losing jobs, the ribbons are a symbol of hope and remembering those who are struggling, as well as a link between the church and the community.

“Ribbons are also a symbol of awareness and support, and in the healthcare sector the use of coloured ribbons helps create public awareness of disability, medical conditions, health and other issues.

“During the time of Advent and Christmas anyone can place a ribbon of any colour on the church railings in what are difficult times for so many people.”

The ribbons will be removed on Twelfth Night, and people are asked not to attach padlocks to the railings.

The St Cross community is running a toy collection for Home-Start Cheshire.

Rev Deakin added: “Home-Start is a community network of trained volunteers helping families with young children through challenging times.

“This year has been a difficult, lonely, frustrating and anxious time for many families in East Cheshire.

“The gifts will be treasured by all the children and gratefully received by parents who are suffering economic hardship.”

People are invited to buy new toys for children up to five years of age.

The collection runs until December 13, and if you would like to donate toys email