North Walsham Methodists celebrate 125 years
2015: Over 500 people attended the Flower Festival to celebrate the 125 year anniversary of the North Walsham Methodist Church building. Tony Rothe reports.
The foundation stone of the present building was laid on July 16 1890, thirteen decades ago, and the floral displays represented significant events or features in each of these decades because, in many cases, the church has been called upon to comment or come to terms with them.
Rudyard Kipling’s “Jungle Book” represented the 1890’s, followed by the Suffragettes, the Titanic disaster and the 1920’s Howard Carter discovery of the tomb of the boy pharaoh Tutankhamun. It came as a surprise that the first sightings of the Loch Ness Monster were reported in 1933. The austerity of the 40’s was depicted in a garden scene “Digging for Victory.”
From decades of Change through “Flower Power” we found “Memories” of “Live Aid” and the vision of Nelson Mandela’s release from prison. The London Eye was imaginatively depicted with a floral cycle wheel and a white sheen hovered around the Winter Olympics display.
The Flower Festival also gave the opportunity to gather many items of memorabilia related to the church with an Exhibition of historical Cradle Rolls, Treasurer’s Reports and Preaching Plans alongside photographs of events and people from days gone by.
In order to look forward with optimism, the final display was from the Youth and Children’s groups entitled “Over the Rainbow and into the Future”.
A Victorian Tea Room was recreated in order to provide refreshments during the festival.
On the Sunday Afternoon, the church joined with Churches Together in North Walsham, and supported by the other local Methodist churches in the area for Worship in the Park. 150 worshippers gathered in glorious sunshine for the open air service, which followed the tradition of Methodist founder John Wesley by being held outdoors.
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