To keep the doors of St Mary’s parish church at Syderstone open costs £450 a week. It’s a similar burden for most churches in England.
It has led to the rector, Fr Clive Wylie, looking at ways to increase income there and at the other parishes in his benefice at North and South Creake and Stanhoe.
One answer was a co-ordinated gift day in all his parishes. In St Mary’s case it was the first for 11 years, organised to coincide with its annual two-day annual Flower Festival at the weekend.
Every house in the benefice was leafleted and church warden Christabel Lewis said: “If successful we might make it an annual event.”
St Mary’s is a historically important 14th century Norman round tower church with a fine example of a 800 year old stone curvilinear tracery east window.
The flower festival produced a riot of colourful designs under the flower festival organiser, Wendy Little. Additional colour was provided by the children’s club, Messy Church though, instead of contributing a flower arrangement, they designed a crafted display of church activities.