Flower Festival Starts with a Bang – Friday 18th May 2012

Posted on May 18, 2012

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The Festival saw the church decked out with twenty eight different displays ranging from the more traditional sprays to modern arrangements

The scent still lingers from the spectacular Sesquicentenary Flower Festival organised by Lynda Rigg and her team, which took place between 18th and 20th May 2012 and saw the church decked out with twenty eight different displays ranging from the more traditional sprays to modern arrangements, each depicting an event or important figure in the history of our Church. The arrangements were prepared by our own flower arrangers as well as those from other local churches, with support from the Church of England Flower Arrangers, the Bush Hill Park Floral Art Club and the Enfield Floral Club and were made possible through generous donations and kind bequests. The displays were accompanied by fascinating historical artifacts including photographs, plans and memorabilia from the past 150 years. Among my favorites were the two contemporary displays either side of the altar; Christ the King, arranged by Barbara Moore of St Paul’s New Southgate, donated by The Revd Jane Kraft in memory of Tom Kraft and the Wooden Lectern display, arranged by Val Bostock of St Thomas’s Oakwood, donated by Joan Way and family in memory of Philip Way.

The Choir gave a short recital to mark the opening of the festival weekend on Friday evening which gave us the rare opportunity to face our audience (rather than each other!) We sang two a capella pieces by Bruckner, including Virga Jesse Floruit “The rod of Jesse flourished” with it’s jaunty and (ouch!) falsetto “Alleluias”, composed in 1885 when the church was 23 years old. This preceded the perhaps better known gradual motet Locus Iste dating from 1869, when our church building was just being completed; an appropriate piece for our 150th Anniversary year, written to celebrate the dedication of the votive chapel of the Cathedral at Lintz “This place was made by God, a priceless mystery, it is beyond reproach.” We also performed some of our favourite works; Three Motets by Charles Villiers Stanford written in 1892 (the year our church turned 30!) and published in 1905; Justorum animae (The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God) Beati quorum (Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord) Coelos ascendit hodie (Today Jesus Christ, the King of Glory, has ascended into the heavens, Alleluia!)

The choir performed the Magnificat and Nunc Dimitis to a setting by Dyson in F, accompanied on the organ by Harvey Brink

Harvey Brink took on the role of both conductor and organist; the only break in the programme arising from the necessary removal of shoes prior to the accompanied canticles; the setting by Sir George Dyson in F Major, composed in 1945. The work split almost evenly between solos in the highest and lowest voices, performed expertly by Katherine Gourd and Clive Woodhouse, is, like the floral arrangements that framed the choir, a model of balance, symmetry and teamwork -perhaps not unsurprising from a composer who, in addition to his fifty works for the liturgy of the Church of England, is known for his First World War Manual on grenade throwing, in which he attempted to transpose his perfect pitch for music into the perfect pitch for the throwing of grenades. The Flower Festival certainly started with a bang!

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