Our Lady of the Assumption Parish, Stainforth recently held a very successful Flower Festival which celebrated the beauty of God’s gifts and also demonstrated the work of various individuals and groups within the parish, through the medium of floral displays.
The exhibits offered both a focus for prayer and also showed how the work of the parish extends throughout the Diocese, nationally and indeed internationally.
One person said of the initiative, “The Flower Festival was a wonderful idea, brilliantly executed, which brought great joy to the many visitors who came. There was a phenomenal about of work behind the scenes to achieve the final result and the entire parish of Our Lady’s deserves tremendous praise. The beauty of the flowers and the prayerfulness of the setting were enhanced by the organ music. The genuine welcome and hospitality offered during the festival really made a visit a pilgrimage of grace.”
Another stunning arrangement in the red and white of the Polish flag was a touching reminder of the part Polish families have played in helping our country during the dark days of the Second World War, and also of the contribution made now to our faith by the more recent settlers from Poland. We rejoice in the diversity they bring to the life our church family.
The most colourful arrangement was the Rainbows display with bands of coloured fabric in rainbow colours and flowers to match. A tribute to the work done in helping those bereaved or suffering in any way the loss of a loved one. The work of Rainbows is especially valued in many schools throughout the country.
Vases of yellow roses were donated by the sick, elderly and disabled of the parish and marked their wish to belong, even when they are physically unable to be present at Mass with us.
The Filippino community produced an original arch of flowers with postcards of their homeland.
The most moving display was that produced by the Justice and Peace group. The bent branches of the cross, used on Good Friday, had red flowers portraying the blood of Christ shed for our salvation. At the base the dried stems of wheat as if all life had departed, but at the top of the cross an amazingly simple crown of purple flowers, the colour of kingship, and fresh green foliage, revealing the new life which the sacrifice of Christ has brought.