August Bank Holiday weekend promises a rewarding spectacle for lovers of flowers and films alike in Steyning.
As spokesman Bill Thomson explains: “The Parish Church of St Andrew and St Cuthman in Steyning will once again host a flower festival, with the theme A Night at the Movies. The Friends of Steyning Parish Church, and the church’s own flower team, are joining forces with local organisations to decorate the historic Norman church building and bring a hint of spring to the late summer season. Around the church, visitors will be able to admire 38 different arrangements, each taking inspiration from the films. From the black and white era of Laurel & Hardy up to the present day, with Harry Potter and The Pirates of the Caribbean, each arrangement will convey the spirit of the movie age.
“The colourful Hollywood musicals will be well represented throughout the church, and the altar area will host some Biblical epics, while around the war memorial we will be reminded of that era by the Dam Busters and In Which We Serve. The local schools and the Messy Church children have been hard at work too, and Steyning Museum will mount a display showing the strong connection the area had with the early days of moving pictures. The Oscar figure and Steyning’s own Gruffalo will be on hand to greet all visitors.
“The festival will provide a feast for the ears as well as the eyes, with film music playing on the Church’s sound system. On the Saturday, from 11am to 1pm, three local singing groups will be performing, while the event will come to a climax on Monday afternoon from 4.30pm with a stirring recital by Steyning Parish Church organist and director of music Brian Sawyer, who will be playing arrangements of film music as well as genuine organ pieces that have featured in films.
“In addition to the displays in the church, refreshments will be served in the nearby Penfold Hall, where plants and crafts will be on sale along with an exhibition of floral-inspired art and photographs.
“If travelling from outside Steyning, why not make a day of it? As well as the Steyning Flower Festival, two other local churches have events over the bank holiday weekend. St Nicholas’ Church in Bramber has an Artists’ and Makers’ exhibition, and St Botolph’s Church at Botolphs will have cream teas and stalls on the Sunday and Monday afternoons.”
Steyning’s flower festival is open to the public on Saturday, August 24 and Monday, August 26 from 10am to 5pm and Sunday, August 25 from 11am to 5pm.
Admission to the festival is free (donations towards the church’s upkeep are invited), though there will be a special VIP preview on the Friday evening, for which tickets (£15) can be obtained from the church or various local businesses.