GALLERY: Around 60 helpers fill Walpole St Peter’s church with a riot of colour for the annual flower festival

Sisters June Collison and Rita Day at the Walpole Saint Peter Flower Festival. Picture: Ian Burt Sisters June Collison and Rita Day at the Walpole Saint Peter Flower Festival. Picture: Ian Burt

Monday, June 2, 2014
10:23 AM

Thousands flocked to the ‘Cathedral of the Fens’ for one of the area’s biggest and oldest church flower festivals.

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Betty Swann at the Walpole Saint Peter Flower Festival. Picture: Ian BurtBetty Swann at the Walpole Saint Peter Flower Festival. Picture: Ian Burt

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.

Wendy Foot at the Walpole Saint Peter Flower Festival. Picture: Ian BurtWendy Foot at the Walpole Saint Peter Flower Festival. Picture: Ian Burt

“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.

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