Virtual flowers

Sandy Cheshire

A spirit of fortitude reigns in St Swithin’s, Launcells, as they determined the restrictions of this pandemic were not going to get in the way of their annual Flower Festival. Instead, they are hosting a virtual flower festival!

As in so many churches across our county, communities have risen to the challenge releasing waves of creativity and kindness. At St Swithin’s they know from many years’ experience that a flower festival brings people together. It focuses on the extraordinary beauty of our environment and generally makes life feel a little bit better. Just because the flowers cannot be physically displayed doesn’t mean they cannot be enjoyed. This was the thought of organiser and PCC Secretary Margaret Bond.

Margaret Bond

“Each year we hold our Flower Festival during this week. In church our arrangers fill the church with beautiful displays and a heady perfume pervades the air…we are determined to show everyone that we are carrying on as normal.”

Showing thanks for the NHS through rainbows at the virtual flower show

NHS rainbow by Helen Barnes

You might not be able to smell the perfume, but the photos show their beauty. The theme this year was the NHS, showing thanks through rainbows.

St Swithin himself would have surely approved of the virtual flower show. He was a Bishop of Winchester during the 9th century who asked to be buried outside of Winchester Cathedral, hoping that rain would fall on his grave and he would be near to the footsteps of all who visited. It was decided this humble plot was not good enough for a bishop attributed with the miraculous mending of a basket of eggs, and so he was moved indoors. A ferocious storm followed and thereafter it was thought that if it rained on St Swithin’s Day, July 15th, it would rain for 40 more days.

The forecast for this July 15th may be mixed, but the sunshine is most definitely radiant in this virtual flower festival.

A virtual festival of flowers

Click on each picture to enjoy the displays and try to imagine their scents.