‘Woodbridge through Flowers’ was the theme of a magnificent flower festival at St Mary’s Parish Church Woodbridge over the long weekend 27-29 July. This was a three day celebration of Woodbridge - its history, cultural, recreational and community life. It was a festival of glorious colour, perfume and artistry created with love and dedication as a floral tribute to our much loved town. A team of 20 or so volunteers from Woodbridge Flower Club and St Mary’s Church worked for four long days with passion and skill, led by Jenny Harris and Peggy Albertini (aged 91 – but she keeps this very quiet!).
St Mary’s glorious medieval building was decorated in every conceivable corner with more than 40 interpretive flower arrangements celebrating many aspects of Woodbridge life. Every windowsill, pillar and pew end were also bedecked with flowers in gorgeous colours. The Shire Hall, Buttrams Mill, the Tide Mill were each depicted. The newly restored Church Tower was recreated in green foliage. A magical display of Sutton Hoo, complete with Mask made from Poppy heads, was alongside a display dedicated to the Army and the soldiers of Rock Barracks. The ancient Parish Chest (dated 1672) was surrounded by flowers, its three ancient keys on display. (Tradition has it that each key was held separately – one each by the Rector and the two Church Wardens – so all three needed to be present to open the chest - and no-one could ‘make off’ alone with its treasures.) Close by the Seckford Memorial was almost hidden under a canopy of brilliant flowers. The musical life of our town and the church, the joys of the parks and the river were all depicted with beauty and humour. And of course the Olympics and the Queen’s Jubilee were not forgotten. All the colours of the rainbow filled the ancient church building – from crimson to royal purple, from orange flame to golden yellow, from delicate mauve to magenta pink, and every shade of green.
A constant stream of visitors came and absorbed the beauty, and marvelled at the skill and creativity – and some even dared to touch some of the exotic blooms – to reassure themselves that they were indeed real.
Revd Canon Kevan McCormack, used the opportunity , at the preview evening reception, to thank all the groups and associations in the town for their support over the years. Standing on a pew, surrounded by 100 guests and a church laden with flowers , he launched a Public Appeal, on behalf of the Friends of St Mary’s Church, for the final £25,000 needed to complete the final phase of the restoration of this Grade 1 Listed Building in the heart of Woodbridge.
|Copyright © St. Mary's PCC, 2007
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