Stanborough Park Flower Festival raises funds for local hospice and church refurbishment: Audrey's blooming marvellous!
'Soli Deo Gloria', be God alone be the glory, was the theme for Flower Festival held Stanborough Park Church between 14th-16th July which was organised to commemorate the laying of the church's foundation stone back in 1927, raising over £10,000 for good causes in the process.
A total of 36 floral arrangements, most of them sponsored by church members, were on display, each depicting an aspect of the church's life, such as Sabbath School, baptism, communion, the deacons and deaconesses, the Music Department, the Pathfinders and Adventurers, the outreach activities and so on, as well as some representing the building of the church and the laying of the foundation stone. View some of the flower arrangements.
As in past years the church's flower arrangers were joined by arrangers from other churches and from the NAFAS (The National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies.) Fellow Chelsea gold medallist Geoff Fox was one of the arrangers and assisting with the designs was another Chelsea gold medallist, Yolanda Campbell, an NAFAS demonstrator and National Teacher.
The event was organised as usual by Audrey Balderstone who held her first Flower Festival at the church in 1981 with the help of another flower arranger, Fred Rawlings. Since then Audrey has designed a Festival about every two years raising £125,000 for various charities. She has also organised many Flower Festivals in other locations and given many flower arranging demonstrations during that time. Audrey, along with fellow arranger, Geoff Fox, won a Gold Medal for a Floral Arrangement at the 2015 Chelsea Flower Show.
It was the first Flower Festival to be held in the recently extended and refurbished church. “It is challenging to design a Festival for this new space” Audrey explained before the event, “but as our theme is ‘To God Alone be the Glory’ we know that He will make it a success. As in previous years there will be a garden with a River of Roses. This has proved popular in the past with visitors able to purchase a rose, place it in the river and write a tribute in a book. The rose can then be reclaimed at the end of the Festival." Perhaps Audrey's greatest challenge on this occasion turned out to be keeping the flowers looking fresh over four days in the high temperatures as she usually organises her festivals to occur when the weather is cooler.
The event began with a Preview Evening on 13th July and then open for public viewings from Friday, 14th July - Sunday, 16th July with a free concert, showcasing a variety of vocal and instrumental talent, on Saturday evening and ending with a Gala Dinner on Sunday evening.
The proceeds from the festival, which has raised over £10,000 will be shared equally between the Peace Hospice in Watford, a cause close to Audrey's heart, and the church's Development Fund. The church's association with the Peace Hospice goes back many years when Audrey organised a flower festival to sponsor a room there called 'The Stanborough Room'. Since then she has raised funds each year to continue that sponsorship.
After the event Audrey commented, "I was thrilled with the way in which everything came together and that was due to excellent teamwork, not just with the arrangers but with all those who contributed, (often behind the scenes) to the success of the Festival. Particularly touching was how much the 'River of Roses' meant to those who were able to remember a loved one or give thanks by placing a rose in the river."
A DVD of the Flower Festival as well as a 2018 calendar featuring exhibits are available for purchase. Email us to order your copies. View some of the flower arrangements.