THE image of a village summer fair is one you may be familiar with –through Midsummer Murders or similar TV dramas.
The sun always shines, the village green is filled with marquees and there are cream teas aplenty.
The local village community mingles and chats.
It’s the idyllic English country scene.
Whenever I see that, or hear the words ‘village fair’, it brings a wry smile to my face, as I have another image.
It is of an open space at the heart of the city, filled with gazebos, marquees and stalls selling and promoting a variety of items and food.
There are Morris dancers, Punch and Judy, brass bands playing, funfair rides, bouncy castles and a large beer tent with a friendly buzz inside.
There may even be a lord mayor and a vicar dressed in a red coat.
The local community fills the space and old friendships are renewed and new connections made.
This image is a familiar one for anyone who has been to the St Mary’s Community May Fayre.
At the heart of the Fratton community, around 10,000 people come to celebrate our life together in the area and to enjoy a host of things as we mark May Day.
Once again on, May 1, from 10am to 4pm, there will be stalls and rides, bouncy castles, burgers and pizzas, tea and beer.
Performers will sing, dance and play music in our arena.
The church itself will host our partners from Fratton Big Local and other local community groups and projects – and there will be a space to pause and reflect and give thanks.
If you have never been before we hope you will join us for the first time.
If you have been before, come along and catch up with folks.
The fair is organised by an army of volunteers from the church.
It is both an opportunity to help raise funds for the church and is a gift to the local community.
Many more volunteers from the various charities and groups who are taking part will also be raising funds and awareness.
But as the fair always falls in the Easter season, it is also a way for us to celebrate the life we share with the risen Christ and the signs of that life in our own lives and community.
n ST MARY’S CHURCH, is in Fratton Road, Fratton.
To contact the parish office call (023) 9281 4444 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively, go to portseaparish.co.uk.