What’s a Flower Festival?

Our 2023 English Tea and Flower Festival (our 17th) attracted over 300 people from near and far. While the Festival was born from the work of our British members, it is a major witness to our community. It includes a “Grand Musicale” Concert of sacred music.

A Brief History of Flower Festivals

For centuries, English churches have held summer flower festivals. These events attract visitors to enjoy the colors, the fragrances, and the fellowship.

One of the most famous is held on Ascension Day in the Derbyshire village of Tissington. The custom dates back to 1350, the year of the Black Death. The villagers of Tissington survived because their water did not become contaminated. To show their gratitude, they made garlands of flowers. In 1615, there was a severe drought and many wells dried up, but not those in Tissington, and again the people were thankful. On Ascension Day, the villagers assembled in church for a service before processing to bless each of the five wells and dress them with flowers. Such “well dressings” are the work of a skilled team of people.

Here at Nativity, we dress our church altar each Sunday with lovely flowers. Once a year, each February, we are delighted to take these same skills to dress the entire church for a weekend of flowers and music. This is our gift to the community as we give thanks to God.