Threatened rain showers forced a planned garden fete at St Faith’s Church, Gaywood to take cover inside on Saturday afternoon.
But the last-minute switch of the original venue of the Rectory gardens to Gaywood Church Rooms on Saturday, failed to dampen the spirits of the crowds who turned up for the annual summer fund-raising event which was opened by the Dean of Norwich, the Very Revd Dr Jane Hedges, who was accompanied by her dog, Rufus.
The Dean, who was marking the first anniversary of her installation as the Dean at Norwich Cathedral, welcomed everyone to the fete and spoke of the important roles of such events, not only as a means of raising funds but also as an event for the local community to enjoy.
After the Dean cut a ribbon across the entrance doors,the crowds flocked inside and soon started browsing the various stalls and picking up bargain buys as they went. A Grand Raffle was drawn just before the fete closed by Gaywood Methodist Minister, the Rev Andrew Maguire.
The fete had particular significance this year for St Faith’s Rector, Canon Beryl Wood, as it was her last before she retires.
After almost five years at Gaywood, Canon Beryl, as she is known to her Anglican and Methodist congregation, has decided to take early retirement due to health reasons but plans to continue living in West Norfolk.
Canon Beryl’s final service at St Faith’s will be on Sunday July 26, starting at 9.45am and everyone is welcome to attend the service and say their farewells.
The Fete is a long-established summer tradition at St Faith’s and many people have fond memories of attending the fetes over the years. Now some of those same people are still attending, but nowadays accompanied by their grandchildren.
Churchwarden Richard Parr said there was disappointment that the event could not be held, as intended, in the Rectory gardens, but with the early morning weather forecasts indicating showers, the organisers decided not to take the risk.
Mr Parr said the event, which raised just over £1,100, fulfilled a twin-role as a fund-raising event for the continued running costs of the church and as a social outreach event, embracing the wider community.
He said: “St Faith’s Garden fete is a popular event each summer and always attracts people who are not regular members of our congregations.
“We were delighted that the Dean of Norwich opened the event for us and then spent time touring the stalls and chatting to fete-goers.
“There was a lovely friendly atmosphere and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, some meeting up with old friends. Our thanks go to everyone who worked so hard, in numerous ways, to make it a success.”