Church pulls out of running Rose Fair

Rose Fair Wisbech

Rose Fair photos collated from recent years. St Peter and St Paul Church, Wisbech, says they are no longer able to organise Rose Fair - Credit: Archant

The parish church that organises Wisbech Rose Fair has pulled the plug on it.  

St Peter and St Paul church, Wisbech, said tonight it would no longer be running Rose Fair.  

Angela Sanders, secretary of the parochial church council, said St Peter and St Paul no longer had enough “young and able” parishioners to carry on.  

She said: “Although Rose Fair belongs to the town, the parish church originally created the Rose Fair in 1963,” she said. 

“And it has been at the centre of its management for many years.” 

The church hosted not only the principal flower festival, advertising the event locally and nationally but handled bookings from coach and travel firms from across the country.  

She said the church also offered “one of the larger restaurant facilities” and convened the Rose Fair committee in collaboration with other town churches and organisations. 

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“We are sad to say farewell to our participation in the event,” said Mrs Sanders.  

“But we no longer have the people in our congregation young and able enough to devote the very significant time and effort which it takes to make the event a success. 

Rose Fair Parade 2019: Saturday was the successful culmination of this year's Rose Fair

Rose Fair Parade 2019: Saturday was the successful culmination of this year's Rose Fair at Wisbech as the streets were packed for the annual parade organised by the Round Table. A few showers failed to deter one of the biggest crowds for years. - Credit: Archant

“We have notified the Wisbech Round Table (which organises the parades) so that they can decide whether they also feel it is time to wind up their involvement.” 

The festival is over four days at the beginning of July each year and offers visitors and townspeople the opportunity to visit flower displays in many of the town’s churches, craft market stalls, entertainments and to enjoy lunches and teas.  

On the Saturday of the festival Wisbech Round Table arranges two parades. They plan to continue with these. 

The Rose Fair has traditionally been a a major fundraiser for local churches and other charities. 

St Peter and St Paul church has given up running Rose Fair

St Peter and St Paul church has given up running Rose Fair - Credit: St Peter and St Paul church

Rose Fair began in 1963 when local rose growers sold rose buds in the church gardens to raise funds for the restoration of the church, which dates back to Norman times.  

Until 2019 – when Rose Fair was suspended because of the pandemic – it had continued to raise money to maintain the fabric of the church. 

Wisbech Rose Fair 2008

Wisbech Rose Fair 2008 - Credit: Archant

Earlier this year the National Lottery Heritage Fund awarded St Peter and St Paul £363,200 funding for urgent repairs. The church is also getting a new kitchen and toilets.