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FLOWERS AT ST MARKS

The beautiful flower arrangements which enhance our Church building are much appreciated by us all and we are constantly grateful to our talented flower arrangers. However, for the coming year a few of the team of arrangers are having to relinquish or reduce their commitment for various reasons and we should be very grateful if there are any members of the congregation who would like to come along and join the team. This can be in the capacity of a regular member of the team of arrangers, an occasional helper for the major festivals (Easter, Harvest, Christmas, etc.) or in an administrative role. Please do not hesitate to put your name forward if you are interested - your help would be more than welcome.

As always our arrangers are only too pleased to arrange flowers in memory of loved ones or to celebrate major occasions such as Golden Weddings. Donations for such arrangements may be handed to the Church Wardens and any special requests can be discussed with the team member scheduled to arrange the flowers on your special date (the rota is on the board at the back of the church). A small explanatory card may be placed in front of the arrangement if desired.

Flower Ladies

The following article is left here as an example of their fantastic talents

CHURCH FLOWERS AT EASTER
& THE ARTS & CRAFTS FESTIVAL

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Colour, perfume and artistic creation! What a wonderful show our talented team of flower arrangers supplied to celebrate the joy of Easter at St. Marks Church. We are so fortunate in having such a dedicated team of hard-working flower arrangers, who add so much to our worship from week to week, and especially for the major festivals at Easter, Harvest Festival and Christmas. On this particular occasion Meryl Stansbury co-ordinated the arrangements and other ladies will take their turn over the coming twelve months, either working alone or 'managing' the arrangements for the big occasions. We have enjoyed our Golden Jubilee Flower Festival, this time co-ordinated by Marjorie Hyatt, and as you can see from the pictures on this page, we were treated to another stunning display.

In addition to Meryl and Marjorie, the current team of arrangers consists of Mavis Brookes, Dora Bundle, Sandra Clarke, Hilary Cox (who has recently joined the team), Val Hebditch (who often demonstrates her creative ability, together with her daughter, Sarah, in the Harvest Festival arrangements), Gwen Jellis, Mary Marsh, Jane Norris, Jenny Paget, Sarah Watson, and Christine Wise.

However, these wonderful displays would not be possible without the valued financial contributions from members of our congregation. We often receive donations and requests for flowers in memory of loved ones or to celebrate major family events such as golden weddings (watch out for two this year!). A basket for donations is usually left in the foyer for a week or two before the festivals and this year we received the magnificent sum of over £63 towards the Easter flowers.

We are always delighted to receive offers of help, either from new flower arrangers who would like to join the team, or from donors. If you wish, your flowers can be accompanied by a note in the pew sheet giving the reason for the celebration or the name of the loved one being commemorated.

To offer help, or to obtain further details, please contact either the Church Wardens or email to : talk2me@stmarkswestparley.org

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FLOWER FESTIVAL CELEBRATING THE 750th
ANNIVERSARY AT SALISBURY CATHEDRAL (2008)
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To have participated in a minor way in the preparations of the Festival celebrating this milestone of the dedication of this most beautiful and magnificent building was both a privilege and humbling experience for the four of us - Christine Wise, Mary Marsh, Marjorie Hyatt, and myself - representing All Saints and St. Marks, particularly when we viewed the overall effect of all the displays at the end of a very long day. Our task had been to assist in preparing the curtains of flowers at the Crossing between the North and South Transepts. 3170458
The three floral designers of international repute, Michael Bowyer, Pamela Lewis, Angela Turner, spent many months from 2006 creating designs, some contemporary alongside the more traditional, to reflect the various aspects and areas within the building. The experienced designers were given a 'blank canvas' to depict various aspects of the Deaneries to reflect their individual localities.
Perhaps the most stunning effects, to my mind, were those enhancing, with flowers in matching colours, the Altar Cloths and the Bishop's and other Copes.
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There were also undulating frames of flowers lying like uneven tabletops of vibrant colours in the North Transept while, in the South Transept, a total contrast of light airiness with a colonnade of 21 giant obelisks (crafted by Pam Lewis herself) hung with pearl-coloured gerberas and cadiz shells, all topped with giant balls of gypsophila. 3170405
All the Chapels had their floral colour schemes reflecting the drapery or following the theme of their dedications. Truly inspirational, making one aware of the many God-given gifts that abound.
The Nave, stripped of all its seating was aglow with a floor-runner of great length of flowers of varied colours, providing an almost Persian effect, with a central circular cradle of delicate white and green foliage and flowers, in place of the new Font which will be in place in the Autumn.
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The Quire was deliberately left completely undecorated as it has been used throughout the duration of the Flower Festival as a place of Worship, also as it contains some of the country's best mediaeval carving, and to provide a floral respite.  
One of the new Frontals of the High Altar combines the energies of the galactic universe with the dimensions of divine grace in vibrant colours was flanked by bold, sculptural designs on the tall pillar candle stands, and between the Communion rail and altar an entwined arrangement of bleached wood with varied floral points. 3160371

How hard it has been to describe such wonderful effects of the many displays. The memory will stay with all the visitors to this historic building, created to the Glory of God, alive with glowing colours for this milestone in its history, I am sure, for many years to come.

Thanks to the Catheral Authorities
for their permission to use
the photographs
©Ash Mills & Salisbury Cathederal
Meryl Stansbury


Thank you Flower Ladies of St. Mark's
(This article was written in March 2004 and is left here
as a thank you to Flower Ladies past and present)

As a new year begins, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the flower Ladies who make St. Marks so attractive through out the year. They quietly sneak into the church and arrange the flowers on a rota basis and I think it would be nice if you knew who they were.

Firstly, as the Christmas arrangements have only just been removed it might be a good idea to tell you about the festivals. Three times a year, Christmas, Easter and Harvest, a trusted team goes into action. As they are so used to each other I only act as "Gopher", I go for this and go for that, fetch, carry, bend and pass as needed. Joan Holt does the main altar pedestal on a regular basis. Her favourite phrase when instructing me is each flower needs its own space, something that is alien to beginners who think the more you can cram in the better. Betty Ryder whose artistic talents are very evident does the bookcases. Betty is an accomplished artist amongst her many talents and her arrangements are always free flowing like her brush. The window ledges are a joint effort. Sandra Clarke and Dora Bundle have become the Batman and Robin of the flower world. Sandra is so experienced that she has been known to start the day before the rest of us, by going into the church and "greening up" the holders. These ladies can adapt their style to accommodate the Christmas candles, the tinned produce at harvest and the varying designs we have tried for Easter. Lastly, but not least might I add, comes 'Mum' and Meryl Stansbury who specialize in the miniature masterpieces in the pew boxes. This may look the easiest job, but trust me it is an art making the arrangements just the right size to make sure they are not too wide to impede people coming into the pews. Make them too tall and the flowers are knocked out and the unthinking accidentally sit on them. Sometimes we are lucky enough to have Jenny Paget helping us and if that is the case she comes with the added bonus of Vic who has a lovely way with a Hoover! He says she has become experienced as he 'does' for a lady in Dudsbury Road! As yet we have been unable to confirm this story. Thank you Vic.

Since the middle of last year the entrance hall into St. Marks has been in the capable hands of Pamela Luther-Smith whose silk flower arrangements have been a delight. Pamela runs her own business providing silk arrangements for businesses but does our church free of charge as a gift to us. We thank you Pamela.

The flower rota for the remainder of the year is posted in the entrance to St Marks and we rely on many other ladies to fill in the gaps. One of our most talented is our other artist, Mary Davis. I can always tell when Mary has done the flowers because her arrangements are unique. Mary usually uses a magnificent selection of greenery interspersed only with a few white flowers. Stunning! Val Hebditch, Sarah Watson and Angela Castleton make up our number.

Muriel Sizer has been a flower lady for more years than she cares to remember and comes along when she is able. Muriel rarely comes without Frank and he always makes sure that the ladies have liquid refreshment and usually can be relied upon to find the biscuit box. Bless you Frank and Muriel.

All these ladies give their time, expertise and flowers free of charge, but this year the P.C.C. have decided that we should have a Flower Fund. We shall be given £20. a month which can be used to purchase flowers for the fortnightly arrangements or, if not required, can be saved to cover the cost of flowers at Festival times. (I think my begging has become an embarrassment). If you would like to join the flower ladies but have found the cost prohibitive now is the time to rethink the situation. Could I also say thank you at this point to the members of the congregation who provide flowers in memory of loved ones. We could not manage without you and we arrange your flowers with love.

Finally I received a request from the West Parley W.I., who wanted to do something in memory of Frances Hiscock. Frances had never kept secret her love of the church and consequently the W.I. committee and members felt that it would be fitting to give £20 for a floral tribute in St Marks, and I did this arrangement for Frances on Sunday the 8th of February.