St Andrews Methodist Church, Sheringham
Flower Festival History
The first “summer festival” were held back in 1965, at Station Road Methodist chapel as part of the fund raising for the building of St. Andrew`s. These were different to the Flower festivals of today as they were more in the form of a bazaar lasting two days.
After the opening of St. Andrew`s, in 1969, this became a three day festival Thursday to Saturday, with everything being cleared away for the Sunday worship.
The flower arrangements, based on a theme, were all done on boards
2ft. x 4ft., with an upright backing board. All the organisations and groups within the church were asked to partake in the Festival by depicting a given title from the theme.
As the years progressed, it was decided that the displays should remain in the church for Sunday worship, but the boards of displays were lifted off the pews and set at the front of the church! Gradually the arrangements became larger and more intricate and the boards larger, so they were left in place on the pews and the congregation sat between them for worship.
In the halls there were displays of paintings from local artists, exhibitions of local photographs and demonstrations of various crafts, plus 3 or 4 stalls. One of these was the Friendship Circle handicraft stall, which is still popular today. Tea and coffee, light lunches and tea were available.
In 1981 it was decided that the exhibitions side of the Festival would be discontinued and the halls should turn totally to stalls and refreshments. For some years hot lunches were made available, but these became so popular that we were unable to provide enough and to cater for all the visitors, so salad lunches were introduced.
In 1990 it was decided to open on the Sunday afternoon, but without any stalls, and the Junior Church were responsible for all the stewarding and refreshments in the first few years as their way to participate in the event. The first year there were few visitors on the Sunday, but numbers grew as the years went by and it has become a well attended day.
Worship plays an important part of the Festival and on the Sunday evening a special Festival Praise service is always held.
The Flower Festival has evolved and grown each year to the Festival we see today, with the thousands of visitors that come, and we hope will continue to do so.