Sunday, September 23, 2007

St Andrew's 125th Anniversary Flower Festival

1. the First and Second World Wars 2. the congregation and community now - the influences of the Caribbean and Africa 3. The Abolition of Slavery 4. The nursery and under 5s.

Very impressive display at St Andrew's Flower Festival this weekend, which unfortunately the small photos I have posted don't do justice to. Each arrangement was around a particular theme, either to reflect a group active within the church or a relevant topic from over the past 125 years eg Fairtrade and Christian Aid, the Abolition of Slavery, the Youth Club.
I popped by to take a look at the flowers yesterday and also to hear local resident Gillian Heyward MBE gave a talk on the history of Brockley. There was also a very interesting display of old photographs of Brockley and Ladywell, including a photo of Brockley Jack in 1895 with two bowler-hatted gents with rifles standing at the entrance gate looking for all the world like something out of the wild west, and photos of sheep grazing on Hilly Fields. Apparently Ivy Road dates back to Elizabethan times, when there are maps showing an Ivy Lane in the same spot.
This morning Ute and I attended the packed-out service of celebration and thanksgiving to mark the 125th anniversary of the church. The Mayor of Lewisham also attended and spoke and the sermon was given by the Revd Nigel Uden, the Moderator of the Southern Synod URC (United Reformed Church equivalent of a bishop). It was interesting to hear more about the history of the church and see photos of it before its modernisation. In the 1960s the congregation had dropped to single figures and there was a risk of it closing, now the church has a growing congregation (250+) and provides a vital resource for the local community, with many local groups using its facilities, particularly the youth club and nursery.

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