French flavour for Great Bircham family fun day

Entente cordiale in village church for weekend event

There will be more than a hint of entente cordiale in West Norfolk this weekend with a special event in the village church at Great Bircham.

Visitors are being asked to wear a beret when they take part in a French Fair tomorrow.

The church of St Mary's will resound to French music and host a French market within the nave itself.

Everything from onions and garlic bread to bric-a-brac and cheese will be on offer.

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The chancel of the church will also be in a French style with music from the Taize community, in Burgunday.

'The community is very much ecumenical and they have special music which people with no muscial ability can join. There are different branches of our religion, from Roman Catholic to Lutheran, united in worship by the music,' said Canon George Hall.

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The only reminder that visitors are in England will be the tea served at the 'British Embassy' within the church.

'We will have lots of food, wine and soft drinks and the emphasis is to make it a real family event. We are not charging admission and want people to come along and enjoy the day,' added Canon Hall.

Paintings will also be on display and games of boules have been organised to help add to the French flavour of the event.

If the weather decides to remain stubbornly British, then everything will be inside the church.

But if a hint of continental weather makes it to Bircham then some of the stalls can be moved outside to add to the European flavour of the day.

'The nave was always used for meetings, so we are just using the church for what it has, historically, always been used for,' said Canon Hall.

The fair runs from 11am to 5pm and admission is free.

Proceeds from the event will go the the building restoration fund of St Mary's.

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