Ashbury Flower Festival
11th – 13th June 2010
The Flower Arranging Workshop in St Mary’s Church on 11 June attracted 28 participants from many surrounding villages, Faringdon and even Swindon. Novices were paired up with those having previous experience and all made a pew end, plus either a pedestal or a cascade arrangement. Click here for photographs. The church looked absolutely magnificent when all the floral creations had been sited amidst wedding dresses that spanned the 18th century to the present day (click to view). In most cases the dresses were accompanied by wedding photographs (click) of couples married in Ashbury in the same decade; some showed up to three generations from the same family.
On 12 June the Church was open to the public for viewing; 196 people attended between 10.00am and 6.00pm. An evening concert by the Wantage Male Voice Choir attracted an appreciative audience of around 85, who took the opportunity to view the flowers and dresses during the interval. The choir conductor cleverly weaved the ‘love and marriage’ theme into the programme of music.
Morning Communion service at St Mary’s on 13 June was attended by visitors from Swindon and other local villages who also looked round the displays. The Church then re-opened for public viewing from 12noon till 3.00pm. A renewal of marriage vows service followed and the church bells were rung at the end of the service. As people stepped out of the church their photos were taken beneath the archway, which had been beautifully decorated with flowers. Everyone then made their way to the Village Hall for a cream tea, prepared by Ashbury ladies. Meanwhile the Church was re-opened to the public until 5.00pm. A total of 163 people visited the displays that day.
The event generated a magnificent profit of over £1,100 for St Mary’s Church. Special thanks go to Margaret Smith for conceiving and co-ordinating the flower festival and to her willing support team who ensured that everything ran so smoothly and successfully.