Sheringham church gears up for major flower festival
12:00 01 July 2014
One of the area’s biggest flower festivals opens at St Andrew’s Methodist Church, Sheringham on Thursday.
The annual event, which last year attracted more than 2500 people and raised nearly £12,000 for church funds and local good causes, this year features 35 floral displays on the theme of journeys and adventures.
Flower arrangers from Sheringham, Fakenham, Cromer, North Walsham, Holt and Norwich have spent hundreds of hours preparing for the four-day festival, with dozens of church members working behind the scenes.
Interpretations of the festival theme range from a depiction of a hot air balloon flight and a jungle expedition, to the journey from childhood to adulthood and the famous John Bunyan book The Pilgrim’s Progress.
Other attractions will include stalls selling handicrafts, souvenirs and cards, a cafeteria serving cream teas and light lunches and, on the church lawns, a plant stall, an exhibition of stained glass art, and quiet space marquee for visitors wanting time for reflection or prayer.
Superintendent minister the Rev David Philo, who took over at Sheringham 10 months ago, said that while he had hosted many similar events at other churches, St Andrew’s was by far the most well-attended.
“I would imagine it is one of the biggest flower festivals in the whole of the east of England, which is why it attracts so many people,” he added.
A former customs and excise officer working out of Harwich and Felixstowe, Essex-born Mr Philo was an officer in the Salvation Army before being ordained as a Methodist minister twenty years ago.
The father-of-three has since presided at more than 10 churches at towns and villages all over the UK and Northern Ireland, ending up in the Peak District before moving to Sheringham with his wife Emily and youngest son Joshua last summer.
“It is a beautiful town, the people are lovely, it’s nice being near the sea, and I am very much looking forward to my first flower festival at St Andrew’s,” Mr Philo said.
■The flower festival runs at St Andrew’s Methodist Church Thursday and Friday from 10am-5pm, on Saturday from 10am-6pm and on Sunday from midday to 6pm, with Sunday worship at 10.30am and 6.30pm. For more information, visit www.sheringhammethodist.org.uk