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Hundreds flock to flower festival

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More than 500 people came through the doors of St Bartholomew’s Church, Horley, for its First World War exhibition and flower festival.

There were exhibits including artefacts, poems, paintings and war medals at the event running from Friday to Sunday (July 6).

Among the exhibits was a display dedicated to the former warden of the church Henry Webber, who is thought to be the oldest man to die on the Somme in 1916.

In addition, the RSPCA laid on a display about the role of animals during the war.

Horley Team Ministry rector Rev Calvert Prentis said the event was well-supported by members of the community.

He added: “I’m convinced it was an event worth having and many in the community are still expressing their thanks for the church being open.

“We struck the right chord and it was much appreciated by a range of people.

“It served a number of purposes: learning, but also friendship, meeting new people and it was a good use of the church.”

Rev Prentis added the success of the event could lead to the church being open to the public more often.

Organiser Rosemary Stone said the number of attendees had “exceeded expectation” and added: “We started planning in February. Lots of organisations, schools and individuals have provided displays and artefacts all at a very high standard and all work well together.”

Waitrose provided refreshments throughout the festival, serving 88 cream teas on Saturday alone.

Money raised will be shared between Headley Court rehabilitation centre for wounded servicemen and the church building fund.

 

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