Since becoming involved in flower arranging at St John’s I have enjoyed learning from others and now help organise a rota of helpers.
Although seeking more, we currently have 22 people on our flower rota, each of whom commits to providing and arranging the flowers by the pulpit for one Sunday per year. With sufficient members on the flower rota we can usually cover for the full year, taking into account the flowers provided by those getting married and the reflective times of Lent and Advent when no flowers are put in church.
At the major festivals of Easter, Harvest and Christmas we ask via the church news sheet and the church magazine for volunteers to help decorate the church, and we actively encourage new people to join us. We usually meet in Church on a suitable morning prior to the festival, bringing flowers and foliage, very often from our gardens, and decorate the nine church window sills, the chapel, the font, the back of church and the porch with seasonal arrangements.
Arranging these flowers involves people with all ranges of experience but with one common love of flowers and our church. While arranging the flowers on these occasions as a group it is good to talk to friends old and new, and hold each other through the joys and sorrows of life. Quite often we are lucky enough to be uplifted by music from someone practising on the organ in preparation for the coming festival.
At Easter we ask if anyone would like to make a donation towards the cost of a lily, in memory of someone who has died, and these are incorporated into our arrangements. Last year, James Grenfell suggested the lovely idea of an Easter cross which is made from the trunk of the church Christmas tree. We attach oasis foam to the cross and the children decorate this with daffodils for Easter Sunday. The children also make an Easter garden as part of their Easter Eve activity morning.
The Harvest festival is a time to decorate the church in thanks to God for his blessings. We fill the church with autumn colours, many of which can be found in the garden, using berries, autumn foliage, hydrangea, dahlia and fruit and vegetables.
At Christmas last year we had a generous response from the congregation to our request for Hydrangea flower heads which we dried and sprayed gold using them, together with red carnations, as our theme for the Christmas decorations.
If anyone would like to know more about this rewarding way of offering to God, I am very happy to pass on what I have learnt. Please do contact Jackie via the Parish Office on: 0114 230 1199.