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Flower Festival at St. Paul’s in Sydenhamby Julie Druker
Photo: l-r, Jean Stott, Paul Belshaw and Joyce Hill at St. Paul's Flower Festival in Sydenham
According to Joyce Hill, who has been a member of the congregation at St. Paul's Anglican Church in Sydenham for 40 years, flowers are often used to celebrate church anniversaries in England. Joyce is originally from Luton, Bedfordshire, a town located about 30 miles north of London, England, and she decided to bring the English tradition to St. Paul’s after visiting a flower festival in Eversholt, England with her husband when they traveled there in 2008 to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. “I remember it being a really beautiful festival so when we were deciding on ideas of how to celebrate this year’s 175th anniversary here at St. Paul's, we remembered it and decided to bring the tradition here to Sydenham,” she said.
Joyce, along with long-time church members Jean Stott and Hazel Hobbs, invited individuals and businesses from the community to create a flower arrangement based on the theme of “Seasons and/or Holidays”.
On August 4 the church opened its doors to the public to view the 36 arrangements on display in the sanctuary. They included a bonsai tree, a miniature lily pond, orchids, and many other ingenious and beautiful arrangements, some of which also included an interesting educational component. Joyce entered her own arrangement and chose Victoria Day as her theme, wishing to highlight the significance of that Queen on this country's history. Other memorable entries included one from New Leaf Link (NeLL) done in the tradition of Japanese floral art called the Moribana style, which incorporates leaves, branches, vines and plants according to the season and which they designed to reflect the principles of their organization. Another notable entry was a beautiful orchid from Blue Roof Farm in Verona, representing the Anglicans from Bellrock, a.k.a. the Village of Gardens.
The St. Paul's Flower Festival is just one of many ongoing celebrations this year at the church to recognize its 175 years of history in Sydenham. In July a rock concert was held at The Point and upcoming on Sunday September16 will be a special Centenary Service with the Rev. Michael Oulton, the Bishop of Ontario, at 10am. Then, on Sunday, September 30 beginning at 5pm the church will be holding a Festival Evensong with special guests the Men’s and Boys’ Choir of Christ Church Cathedral in Ottawa. For more information about the upcoming festivities visit www.southfrontenacanglican.ca