Popular Guestling Flower Festival returns for another year


This month sees the return of the annual Guestling Flower Festival, on August 16, 17 and 18, hosted at St. Laurence Church, Guestling.

This popular local festival, which has been running for over 30 years, opens each day from 10am until 5pm, and combines incredible flower displays with mouth-watering lunches and cakes, as well as local produce.

This year, St. Laurence Church welcomes Sheila Benson as the new festival organiser, after 30 years of the invaluable stewardship of Rosemary Gainsbury.

Sheila has organised many flower festivals over the years, but this is the start of what we hope will be a long association with St. Laurence.

For her first festival at Guestling, Sheila has chosen “What the Dickens?” as this year’s theme, so the exhibits are sure to offer something for everyone.

Speaking enthusiastically about this year’s festival, Sheila said: “St. Laurence Church has a great reputation for their flower festivals, and people come back every year from far and wide, so we would like to see this success continue.”

The event also sees the Reverend Joy Collins overseeing her first flower festival in charge, since the retirement of Reverend Robert Mulford earlier this year.

Reverend Collins says she is relishing the challenge though: “We are looking forward to seeing the Church full of vivid colours again from the eclectic and imaginative displays, as well as the incredible scent!

“On Sunday, we end the festival with a Songs of Praise service at 6pm, to which all are welcome, and it is lovely to hear the music surrounded by the amazing flowers.

“The flower festival, as well as our continuing focus on music throughout the year, ensure that local people and holiday visitors alike return time and again, confirming our intention of making St. Laurence a very welcoming church.”

Sarah Lewis, the festival’s publicity officer, said: “ We are looking forward to welcoming all exhibitors and visitors back to Guestling again for our annual flower festival, for what promises to be another spectacular year of floral displays.

“The church is a Grade I listed building, and has been welcoming visitors here for over 900 years, so it is fitting that we continue in this tradition, and use the monies raised from the flower festival to fund the Church’s ongoing restoration programme.”

As well as floral displays, the festival offers local produce for sale, a tombola, and book stalls, together with refreshments and lunches. All monies raised will go the the St. Laurence Church Restoration Fund. Admission is free, and there is ample parking – just follow the signs on the A259.