August 1 2014 Latest news:
Monday, June 2, 2014
Thousands flocked to the ‘Cathedral of the Fens’ for one of the area’s biggest and oldest church flower festivals.
Around 60 helpers filled Walpole St Peter’s church with a riot of colour for the annual event.
After a packed festival service on Sunday, crowds enjoyed a brass band, teas and an array of stalls selling everything from jigsaw puzzles to cucumber plants.
Rector the Rev Neil Badcock took over at the imposing church a year ago, after a stint at Blakeney and Cley.
“We had the festival service and we were really packed,” he said.
“Saturday was good, we had a constant stream of people all day long.
“People come in coaches, we had one coach from Hethersett – they come from all over.
“I’m amazed at the quality of the flower displays, they’re just extraordinary. It’s at a time of year when flowers are at their best.
“We’ve got displays by the scouts, the guides, the local school – it’s quite a community thing.”
St Peter’s is one of the largest in churches Norfolk.
Parts of the building date back to the 14th century, when work began to replace an earlier church which was destroyed in a flood.
The church, which has five stars in guidebook England’s Best 1,000 Churches, is one of Prince Charles’s favourites.
The prince sometimes brings guests to see it when he holds house parties at nearby Sandringham.
In 1963, parishioners decided to stage a flower festival to raise funds towards its upkeep.