Methodist Church says it with flowers

Christchurch Festival of Flower, Bexhill. Photo by Margaret Garcia. Helen Shuttleworth SUS-160531-072438001

Christchurch Methodist Church at Bexhill was a blaze of colour over the Bank Holiday weekend when it held its 28th annual Flower Festival.

One of the unfailing delights of the Spring Bank Holiday is the certainty that the Christchurch Ladies’ Supper Club will pull off a minor miracle with their flower festival.

Christchurch Festival of Flower, Bexhill. Photo by Margaret Garcia. Vera Mangold and Harry Saunders SUS-160531-072514001

The theme of this year’s event was “In appreciation.” Each of the twenty skillfully designed and executed groups of floral arrangements in the Methodist church in Springfield Road commemorated a gift which has enriched the church.

The Easter Cross was picked out in green, yellow and mauve against a background of foliage.

The church porch, in memory of Beatrice and Wilfrid Carey, held a vertical arrangement in red and green.

The glass vestibule screen, etched in 1983 by the late Cedric Gillham, and the vestibule table acquired when a church at Hastings closed and with its candlesticks crafted by John Cackett had arrangements with Harvest Festival cornucopias.

Christchurch Festival of Flower, Bexhill. Photo by Margaret Garcia. Elena Treadaway, Hazel Downing SUS-160531-072611001

The main window was the gift of Marshall Jay when the church opened in 1907 while the church banners beneath were a family effort, created by Joan Turnwell, Norah Dadswell and Sue Parkinson. The complementary floral arrangements featured lisianthus, carnations and roses in rich profusion.

The St John the Baptist window, in memory of Marshall Jay, blended blue sea holly with red roses.

The sanctuary chairs were crafted by the late Douglas Noble. Eucalyptus leaves set off pink and white lisianthus and pink roses and carnations.

The church’s memorials to members who gave their lives in the two world wars were graced with roses.

Christchurch Festival of Flower, Bexhill. Photo by Margaret Garcia. Barry Turnwell, Michelle Loader. SUS-160531-072558001

Stars topped white displays topping the tall candle-holders which were the product of a bequest by Kathleen French.

Beneath the pendulum clock commemorating the Offen family and brought from the old Belle Hill Chapel when the congregations merged in 1938 were eucalyptus with pink lisianthus, roses and carnations.

The “Father Willis” organ, which came from a large country house, was adorned in orange, green and red arrangements.

The lectern, given in memory of Flight Lieutenant Ernest Marchant had an arrangement at its base while a host of individual arrangements set off a variety of gifts at the back of the church.

Christchurch Festival of Flower, Bexhill. Photo by Margaret Garcia. Stuart and Deirdre Earl SUS-160531-072536001

Other gifts including the Glastonbury Chair once owned by hymn-writer Dr G. Matheson, the hymn boards, the Advent stand, the Powerpoint system given by Alan Malpass and the church logo designed by David Cox were given the floral treatment.

The crowning glory of the festival was, as usual, the communion area with furnishings crafted by the late Douglas Noble and a host of gifts by church members set off by two vertical arrangements of white and mauve offset by a central pillar of white roses.

Throughout the Bank Holiday weekend, visitors’ enjoyment of the flower festival was enhanced by music on keyboard and harp. Even the piano was decorated with flowers and sheet music. Refreshments, plant and other stalls in the church hall complemented the floral displays

The proceeds of this year’s event will go to Canine Partners Assistance Dogs and the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance in addition to assisting with church projects.

Pictures by Margaret Garcia.

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Christchurch Festival of Flower, Bexhill. Photo by Margaret Garcia. Rev Tricia Williams and Sandy Williard SUS-160531-072525001

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Christchurch Festival of Flower, Bexhill. Photo by Margaret Garcia SUS-160531-072623001

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