All Saints flower artistry

It's one of the most popular Sidley events - the annual Flower Festival at All Saints Church.

Saturday, 27th June 2009, 2:54 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 7:58 pm

This year's festival had the theme of Countries Of The World and, once inside the cool and restful interior of the church, visitors were treated to a charming and creative expression of colour and skill.

There were twenty-one displays in all, ranging from the cheerful blast of red, white and blue to symbolise France from pupils of All Saints school who incorporated flowers made out of tissue paper, to the simple but sweet fruit offerings of Thailand, created by youngsters from Glyne Gap faculty.

On what was one of the warmest days of summer so far, the Lapland display put together by Karina Sargent, Sarah Newsome and Ruby Crowhurst was an icy shot of Christmas - complete with white and blue crysanthemums, gyposphilia, freesias and carnations, all of which brought a little winter chill to those standing near enough to admire.

Other striking displays included the heat and vibrancy of Nigeria with its blend of tropical fruits and flowers, and the ingenuity of two India exhibits from Jan Nash and Mary, and Beeching Park Centre.

The event was organised by Pat Cooper with Helen Bridger, helped by Sue Korth and Father Trevor of All Saints.

Pat's own display was Malta, for which she used a dramatic blend of anthiriums in red and white, lilies, roses, carnations, freesias and crysanthemums, as well as gypsophilia.

This was a labour of love with great personal meaning, taking Pat back to family holidays in Malta before she lost her husband four years ago, and her son back in 1994.

Pat used mementoes brought home from those happy times, including an 18" Knight Of Malta which belonged to her son, as well as jewellery, weaving, and glass.

The display had even more meaning because it was also part sponsored by her friend Peter Hathaway whose wife Barbara passed away - Barbara was a member of All Saints church choir.

Pat has been involved with the Flower Festival since 1995 and commented: "In those days we had only one every three or four years, then Helen and I decided because we needed funds to do it every year, because although it is hard work it is a money spinner. We do it for church funds and we also give a percentage to charities - we save for certain ones during the year, and then put a percentage towards them."

Father Trevor himself put together a display on Egypt, complete with sand, camels, and pyramid, while Margaret Smart and Helen Bridger showed off great skill in arranging Greece and Japan.

Pat said: "Margaret has been chief flower arranger for many years in this church, and Helen very clever and very artistic. Sue Korth also did very well with her Brazil display, which she had to build onto scaffolding so it would be lifted above the organ. She is also very artistic - it's quite something to do this when you are just working with an empty space and having to build up from there."

Public reaction to the festival has been good according to Pat who added: "All the Festivals are special but people have commented on how much they like it this year because there is such a variation of colours with it being about different countries and flats - we have had that comment made."