A church will this weekend stage a flower festival and has used the event to launch a £65,000 fundraising campaign.
St Edwin’s Church, in High Consicliffe, near Darlington, in the Durham Diocese, will be transformed as it plays host to a flower festival to celebrate the history of the church and its community. The festival was opened last night (Thursday) in the presence of the Mayor of Darlington, Councillor Charles Johnson, and Mayoress Mrs Carol Johnson by Canon John Dobson, Priest-in-Charge of Coniscliffe and Area Dean of Darlington. The festival takes place in St. Edwin’s Church throughout this weekend. Entitled The Past, Present and Future, the festival celebrates the long history and present-day life of the church and local community and draws attention to the fact that St. Edwin was the first Christian King of Northumbria. Each of the parish’s four villages (Low Coniscliffe, Merrybent, High Coniscliffe and Piercebridge) is featured, along with local farms and historic houses. Members of Darlington Flower Club and friends have played a full part in creating the floral displays, including the spectacular battle scene in which Edwin became king in this region. Arrangements outside the church have been prepared by the children of High Coniscliffe School who will also sing during the Festival Service in St. Edwin’s this Sunday at 10.30am. Last night’s opening and preview was followed by a summer evening buffet for the 350 guests at Thornton Hall, thanks to the generous hospitality of Mr and Mrs Mike Manners and the hard work of many supporters. During the evening, Canon Dobson launched St. Edwin’s “Vision for the Future” with an appeal for £65,000 to make the church building more welcoming and flexible for worship and community events. He announced that the Church has pledged £10,000 and a £10,000 grant has already been promised by an external body. Canon Dobson and the congregation are keen to hear from anyone who would like to offer support. They can be contacted on: 01325 469891 The flower festival runs from 10am to 6pm this Friday, June 28 and Saturday, June 29, and noon to 5pm on Sunday, June 30. Entry is £3 and refreshments are available.