St James’ remembers WW1 in flowers

The start of the weekend quite literally blossomed on Friday 18 July with an amazing Flower Festival preview evening held in the 12th century church of St James, Finchampstead; to complete the event, Pimms and Pâté refreshments were served in the Centre.

The 19 breath-taking displays and arrangements themed on ‘A Century Ago’ effectively captured the poignancy of this meaningful time in our history. The combination of the florists’ artistic skills and the historians’ research resulted in a floral experience which enthralled the 70+ who attended the launch.

On the evening of Saturday 19th, Director of Music, Janice Devine; Linda Atkinson, organist/pianist; with St James’ Choir entertained visitors with songs from World War One. The first half of the concert included full choir pieces, as well as solos – both instrumental and voice – which in parts were very moving. After a delicious summer buffet , the second half of the concert featured audience participation, with lots of patriotic songs dating from the early 1900s, and flag waving.

For Sunday 20th, with the sun shining in bright blue skies, queues formed to climb the tower all afternoon. On such a clear day the views from the top were spectacular. The books, toys, plants, bric-a-brac stalls and raffles did a roaring trade. The ladies in the kitchen were kept busy serving cream teas, whilst cooling ice creams – Revd Julie was in charge of the ice-cream scoop! – were much in demand.

Parishioners had delved into cupboards and searched memories to contribute to an interesting display of WW1 memorabilia and reminiscences for everyone to browse.

Proceeds from the weekend totalled in excess of £2,100 – for church funds.