This Christmas, send a message to a loved one through the lights on Macclesfield’s Christmas tree.

In previous years, the people of Macclesfield have been invited to write messages to loved ones on paper stars which are hung on the Christmas tree in Market Place. This year, because of continuing restrictions around the pandemic, Macclesfield Town Council and the organisers of LIT have commissioned an artwork from Macclesfield-based art collective, IDST!, which will display messages on the tree’s lights in the form of Morse code.

When people send a text message to a special phone number, their message will be turned into Morse code and will flash on a light bulb in their chosen colour. Messages will be transmitted to the world via the same light until the tree comes down in January.

And every time people text #show to the phone number, all the other lights on the tree will disappear and your light will blink their message alone.

People can now send their messages to the Christmas tree by following the instructions below.

Your Message in Lights – a step-by-step guide

  • Create your message of no more than 60 characters including your name or your family name if you like.
  • At the end of your message (in addition to the 60 character limit) let us know which colour of the rainbow you’d like for your light by including the colour with a hashtag eg #red or #yellow etc.
  • Send your message to 07840 148462 (*texts are charged at your standard mobile rate. Please dial carefully.)
  • You’ll receive a text confirming that we’ve received your message and that it’s live on the tree going out in Morse code.
  • Every time you text #show back to 07840 148462 all the other lights on the tree will extinguish and only your message will be displayed.
  • You can send one message per phone, but you can change your message at any time. Just repeat the steps above.

Please remember that you should only leave your house for necessary journeys or exercise. We’re hoping that restrictions will be lifted on Wednesday 2 December and we can visit the Christmas tree safely again.

Message in Lights has been devised and created by IDST!, a group of Macclesfield-based makers, artists, technicians and experimenters working together to make community artworks. Creating performances, games, artworks and events that are playful, purposeful and people-powered, and celebrate community strength. Collaborating with others, training and running experiments, workshops, and projects so people can learn and get involved and communities can own their ideas.