Jubilation for festival

Ruth Saunders with 'Purple Rain'.'St Clement's Flower Festival, Outwell
Ruth Saunders with 'Purple Rain'.'St Clement's Flower Festival, Outwell

ST Clement’s Church at Outwell holds its annual flower festival from July 13 to 15 and the theme is “A Year of Jubilation,” which encompasses both the London 2012 Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

Church members are hoping the discovery earlier this year of some unique carvings in the roof will also draw visitors from afar to admire both the carvings and the floral arrangements.

The carvings have created excitement both in this country and abroad as it is believed St Clement’s could be the only church in Europe with carvings depicting a demon embracing a Saint instead of the other way around.

Visitors will be able to see some of the carvings but photographs will also be on display to show parts that can’t be seen so clearly.

Experts have taken a close look at the carvings and even the Bishop of Huntingdon, the Rt Rev David Thomson has been to look.

The carvings were discovered after a medieval historian with a special interest in stained glass, came to the church to look at the windows. On closer inspection, she spotted the special carvings.

Currently, church members are looking into ways of attracting grant aid to help preserve them and to make the most of this special feature.

The church doors will be open from noon to 5.30pm on the Friday for the festival with a cheese and wine at 7pm. Admission is £6 on the door or tickets in advance from church wardens Janet Edgson on 01945-773703 or Ruth Saunders on 01945-772538.

There will be refreshments of tea, coffee and cakes available on the Friday.

On Saturday the church is open from 10am to 6pm. There will be a cake stall at 2pm, refreshments throughout the day and light lunches.

On Sunday the Eucharist is at 9am and the church will be open after the service until 6pm. Refreshments and light lunches will again be available.

The festival concludes with a Songs of Praise at 6pm.

Throughout the three days there will be stalls including bric-a-brac, lucky numbers, books etc, a grand draw with a £50 top prize and a separate draw for a gents bicycle donated by Ray Wilson, of Outwell, with tickets at £5. Both draws will be made on the Sunday evening.

There will also be organ recitals at no set times and photographic memorabilia and artefacts which have been brought in by villagers for visitors to browse.

Jean Titmarsh is in charge of the floral side of the festival and the church will be packed with beautiful blooms.

The flower festival is organised by the parochial church council and is the main fundraiser for the church with money going towards its general upkeep.