150th Anniversary Flower Festival
at Tilford Parish Church
A delightful medley of scents and colours filled All Saints Church, Tilford on 3rd/4th June 2017 for the Flower Festival marking the 150th birthday of the church.
A notable example of Victorian architecture, All Saints Church was consecrated on 10th July 1867 and has served as a spiritual focus of the community ever since. Standing just above the picturesque village green, it has been the home of the renowned Tilford Bach Festival for 65 years.
The Flower Festival attracted numerous visitors from near and far to join in the celebration. Entry was free, as was the tea with home-made cakes, but visitors generously donated some £500 towards the upkeep of this noted Victorian church.
On the day before the festival opened, the church bacame a hive of activity, with all ages from toddler to 90-plus busy preparing their exhibits. Most of the village took part, with displays from individuals and also from many local organisations, including Waverley Abbey and All Saints schools, Tilford Village Nursery, the “Barley Mow” pub, Village Shop and the Rural Life Centre.
More exhibits came from the Church Flower Group, Tilford WI, Tilford & Rusmoor Neighbours Sceme, Tilford Brownies, Tilford Bach Society, The Choir, the PCC, the Sacristans, Tilford Gardening Group, Tilford Art Group and St.Thomas-on-The Bourne.
Jars of brightly coloured flowers prepared by the children decorated the path from lychgate to porch, as well as the pew ends on the central aisle and the area around the font. A magnificent variety of large floral exhibits were displayed throughout the church.
Window sill decorations were chosen to tone with the rich colours of the Victorian stained glass. An outstanding decoration of white lilies festooning the pulpit was the work of Fred Wilkinson, floral decorator for royalty and former director of the Constance Spry School of Floral Decoration at Moor Park.
Parish Priest Canon Heather Humphrey said: “What a wonderful opportunity this has provided for neighbours, who in some cases did not even know each other before, to become friends in the shared activity of making the church so beautiful.”
The Flower Festival was organised by Helen Jonathan, who heads the Church Flower Group. She said: “The response from the village was extraordinary! They were all very different organisations, but the came together - people rally seem to enjoy collaborating.” She was assisted as organiser by Jane Mathias, whose family have lived in Tilford since 1870 and who led the Church Flower Group for many years, until recently handing over to Helen.
The Flower Festival was part of the programme of events commemorating All Saints’ 150th anniversary and which runs throughout the year. (CLICK HERE for information on the full anniversary programme.)