Festival celebrates church restoration

St John the Baptist Church, in Great Hale, hosted a flower festival on the theme of Kings and Queens at the weekend to celebrate its long history and showcase results of a major restoration project.

The historical costume parade through Great Hale. EMN-210628-184219001

The flowers depicted periods in the church’s history. Churchwarden Elaine Huckle explained that steps in the tower date back to Saxon times and are a unique example of the period.

The event showed off the new Ancaster stone flooring, new chairs to replace rotten pews and a new kitchen paid for by a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant and other sources.

Mrs Huckle added the project had uncovered bones from the 11th to 19th centuries, which were reburied in the churchyard. A skeleton, from the 11th to 13th century, has been left in situ and a cross etched in the new stone floor to mark the grave.

Len and Janet Bridge of Heckington admiring the flower arrangement to Queen Elizabeth II. EMN-210628-184331001

Saturday saw a barbecue in aid of the 1st Heckington Brownies, a ‘sponsor a tile’ stall to help raise the £20,000 it is costing to replace the village hall roof, and an historic costume parade through the village. Sunday saw an evening thanksgiving service. The local primary schools and nursery were also involved in doing art projects.

Locals were being videoed to create an oral history, funded by the Lottery grant, which will be on view for visitors, along with a timeline and new guide book.

Sandra Carnell and Fay Knight from the Friendly Crafters Group that meet in Great Hale Church, with their stall of creations. EMN-210628-184250001
Videos being shot to create an oral history film for church visitors at Great Hale. EMN-210628-184208001
Elaine Huckle points out the site of the 11th-13th century grave. EMN-210628-184342001
The historical costume parade through Great Hale. EMN-210628-184240001
One of the main floral displays - by Christine Newitt. EMN-210628-184301001
A flower display to Queen Victoria. EMN-210628-184311001
Mike Weston of Rainbow Arts, Great Hale. EMN-210628-184321001
The new timeline next to the Saxon steps in Great Hale church. EMN-210628-184353001
Great Hale Church tower. EMN-210628-184404001