Thousands of visitors expected to descend on St Andrew’s Church in Sheringham for the annual flower festival

Thousands of visitors are expected to descend on Sheringham this month to see the hundreds of beautiful blooms on display at this year's flower festival.

The event has been held for more than 40 years and has grown in size, quality and popularity during that time. Last year it attracted more than 3.000 visitors from all over the UK and raised nearly �13,000 for church funds and for charity.

This year's festival will feature more than 30 individually designed arrangements, which will be displayed in St Andrew's Methodist Church, Cromer Road, from Thursday, July 5, to Sunday, July 8.

The floral displays are designed around a different theme each year and the event next month will be based on the theme of 'reaching out'.

To mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee year, the charitable donation will be given to one of the charities she is patron of.

Each of the good causes will be depicted in flowers at the festival and visitors will be invited to vote for the one they would most like to receive a donation.

Rosa West, secretary of the church and the festival committee, said: 'The church will be absolutely full of flowers, beauty and perfume. There will be wonderful arrangements all on the theme of 'reaching out'. The displays will depict the different ways the church and the Queen's charities reach out. There will be lighthouses, windmills, fishing scenes and children. There will also be an arrangement depicting the church in Nepal that St Andrew's has links with.'

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She added: 'Last year's festival was a world of colour and rainbows. Everybody said that when they walked in they stopped dead with the sight of it all. We had a wide range of flowers, from exotic varieties to better known types, like chrysanthemums and roses. I haven't seen the finished arrangements yet but I expect they will be just as spectacular this year. A lot of work always goes in to it and I would like to offer grateful thanks to everybody that has helped us so far.'

Background organ music will be played in the church throughout the festival to enhance the visitor experience. There will be a selection of stalls including plants, jigsaws, books, crafts, jewellery and gifts as well as a raffle and quizzes.

Light lunches, cream teas and cakes will also be on sale,

Opening times of the festival, which will be officially opened by the mayor and deputy mayor of Sheringham on the opening day of the festival at 10am, are Thursday, Friday and Saturday 10am to 6pm, and Sunday midday to 6pm. Entry is free.

The church is wheelchair friendly and has disabled toilet facilities.

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