Visitors to Christ Church, Shaw’s inspiring Flower Festival were welcomed in the porch by a gently swaying rainbow of 100 balloons, (each of which had been sponsored by someone in memory of a loved one), above a verdant “hedgerow.”
On entering the church the subtly beribboned pillars and pew ends and rich displays on window sills were immediately visible. Whilst wandering around the church the rainbow theme continued, with each display representing an individual colour, culminating in the main altar crowned with a magnificent array of blooms containing all the colours of the rainbow. At the other end of the church the font was decked with bright displays, including the “pot of gold” at the end of the rainbow.
All of this was created by the ladies who are dedicated to keeping our church decorated with flowers throughout the year. They were helped by their friends and was much enhanced by contributions from local groups; the Women’s Institute made swags and mini-trees for the entrance, Mavern House nursing home had made a brilliant array of rainbow-themed craft work, Shaw and Whitley Pre-school’s display was a delight and Shaw School’s Noah’s Ark and rainbow was made by year 2 children who clearly enjoyed the Bible story and its message.
On Sunday a joyful Evensong with full choir included two of John Rutter’s best known pieces and an address by the Rev Ruth Gillings set out how in scientific terms the colour spectrum enables us to see our world and how the rainbow symbolises God’s constancy in caring for it and for us.
As a final act everyone went out into the churchyard to see the remembrance balloons, being released to float away into the summer evening.
The organiser Sylvia Bennett said “I would like to thank everyone who helped in all sorts of ways and to all those who came and made donations which will go towards the “Spend A Penny Fund” to provide a much needed toilet and tea station in the church. The final figure is not yet known but we raised over £2,000. Thank you everyone.”