Roof fund will grow thanks to Portchester church’s flower celebration

FLOWER GIRL Mia Parsons, five, from Gosport, next to one of the flower displays inside the church. Picture: Sarah Standing (122952-1406)
FLOWER GIRL Mia Parsons, five, from Gosport, next to one of the flower displays inside the church. Picture: Sarah Standing (122952-1406)
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BEAUTIFUL blooms are on display at a church as part of a festival to help raise money to pay for a new roof.

The Portchester Flower Festival is taking place all weekend at St Mary’s Church in Portchester.

The festival combines floral displays, paintings by local artists and live concerts.

The festival was themed around the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens.

Revd Julie Jones, assistant curate at the church, said: ‘It’s absolutely breathtaking. I cried when I first saw it. I don’t think I expected it to be as spectacular as it is.

‘It’s not just what you see but it’s the love that’s gone into it. The whole church is buzzing and that’s what a church should be.

‘It brings people into the church to see what it’s all about. It’s not just older people, it’s younger people as well.’

She said it was vital that money is raised to help fix the church roof.

‘The church leaks in so many places,’ she said.

‘It’s so sad because the church is such a beautiful place and when it’s leaking it can bring damage.

‘That’s why the focus is on the church roof. It will be a huge celebration when it’s all fixed.’

Throughout the festival, people can make donations in plant pots that are dotted around the church.

‘It allows people to give what they can,’ Mrs Jones added. ‘It’s not shutting people out so they can’t afford to come in.’

There are different floral displays in the church to mark different occasions.

One display focuses on the jungle in Kenya where the then Princess Elizabeth was when she found out her father had died, making her Queen.

Another display is about Royal Ascot.

And on the walls are displays focused around many of Charles Dickens’ most famous novels.

Margaret Andrews, chairwoman of the Portchester Flower Club, who organised the event, added: ‘It brings the community together. It’s an outreach for the church and it brings people in.

‘It’s for a good cause for the upkeep of the church.’

Richard Andrews, church warden, added: ‘It’s just a wonderful event. It opens the church up to all the community.’

The festival continues today and tomorrow.