September 21 2014 Latest news:
Sunday, June 8, 2014
Daredevil teddy bears and the nations of the Commonwealth took over Blundeston’s church over the weekend.
St Virgin the Mary Church held its annual flower festival on Saturday and Sunday with visitors being given a chance to play spot the country.
The theme of the festival was the Commonwealth, to mark this summer’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
About 20 eye-catching floral displays captured the essence of some of the 53 Commonwealth countries, with one exhibit for Australia featuring a koala bear and a kangaroo.
A display for New Zealand featured a sheep, the Seychelles stand had a conch shell and a Canadian display had a mountie.
There was also a tribute to Nelson Mandela in the South African display.
As well as the flower festival the church was also the setting for brave teddy bears, which were parachuted from the church’s 53ft 10th century tower on both days for a donation of a £1.
There were cheers from a large crowd as a wide range of bears and soft toys, such as a snake, were parachuted from the tower as Blundeston resident Danny Steel performed comical countdowns as compere.
Among the hundreds of bears hurled from the tower were a mayor’s bear, belonging to June Ford mayor of Lowestoft.
Youngsters acted as nurses and stretcher bearers to treat any bears that landed awkwardly.
There was also an emergency rescue team on had to free any bears trapped in nearby trees.
David Boddy is the vicar of St Mary and Virgin having moved to the church from Sunderland last September.
He said: “This is my first ever teddy bar parachute day. We don’t have anything like this up North. I think it is wonderful way to bring people together here.
“I am very impressed by the flower displays, a lot of work has obviously gone into them.”
Church warden Iris Mayes said about 40 people were involved in the festival and teddy bear stunts, which were organised to raise funds for the church.