May Fayre at church will attract thousands

Real ale tent. May Fayre at St Mary's Church, Fratton, Portsmouth.  Picture: Allan Hutchings (131234-972)
Real ale tent. May Fayre at St Mary's Church, Fratton, Portsmouth. Picture: Allan Hutchings (131234-972)

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THOUSANDS of people are to descend on a Portsmouth church for one of the biggest community events in the city.

St Mary’s Church in St Mary’s Road, Fratton, will host its annual May Fayre on Monday.

The event – backed by The News – traditionally attracts about 10,000 people. It is hoped this year’s turnout will be bigger than ever.

Attractions at the day-long fayre include a real ale and cider tent, stalls and a volunteers’ area.

Canon Bob White from the church is looking forward to the event.

He said: ‘It’s probably the biggest community-based event in the city in terms of what is available on one site on one day.

‘We have got Morris dancers and brass bands and Punch and Judy shows.

‘There is a real ale bar and funfair rides and stalls selling all sorts of different things.

‘In the church there are all sorts of different crafts.’

Some proceeds from the fayre including money made from the pitches and the organising, will go towards the general upkeep and work of the church.

Money raised by volunteers associated with the Campaign For Real Ale (CAMRA) from the sale of beers and ciders that the church has bought for the event will also go to St Mary’s.

Other attractions will include bric-a-brac stalls, and dance, music and song.

The fayre is dedicated to the memory of past friends of St Mary’s Church.

Canon White added: ‘If I head for one stall I will be checking the beer tent is in good order.

‘There are lots of our own church stalls, particularly the cake stalls and food outlets.

‘I like to visit to make sure they are in good order.’

Canon White has said the May Fayre has been running for more than 20 years at St Mary’s.

This year’s event is to be held in the grounds of the church from 10.30am to 4.30pm on Monday.

Entry is free. Visit for information.