President of Tynwald Clare Christian was among the guests of honour at the official launch of the Isle of Man Flower Festival, in the Royal Chapel of St John.
Other dignitaries at the event in the St John’s Church included Bishop Robert Paterson and chairman of Arts Council Geoff Corkish MLC, who is heavily involved in this year’s Island of Culture celebrations.
Mr Corkish said the Flower Festival, which runs from July 3 to 9, was yet another event in the Island of Culture year that showed the many different aspects of life in the Island.
‘It is a very important addition to the Island’s cultural scene,’ he said. ‘The Flower Festival is so much enjoyed by residents, for whom many will get the chance to visit churches and sites around the Isle of Man that they would probably never think of going to.
‘There are many visitors who know the Flower Festival is on and they come to the Island for that reason.’
He added: ‘Major events like these don’t just happen. I would like to thank the organisers and the volunteers for their vision, their passion and their enthusiasm.’
Mr Corkish was introduced by Flower Festival committee member Jean Clifton, who praised all the volunteers who had helped.
‘Without the designers, all the girls that do all the work, we wouldn’t have a Flower Festival and we are very grateful that this year we have got 19 churches and two other venues,’ she said.
She also thanked the businesses that had shown their support and, in particular, the event’s main sponsor Connect2Charity, an organisation committed to helping Isle of Man charities and non-profit organisations promote their aims.
‘Without it, we just couldn’t have had a Flower Festival,’ she added.
Connect2Charity chairman Kurt Roosen told those gathered at the launch: ‘All of this is about the people who are here, the people who organise this, and I feel very privileged today to have a little part to help do that.’
Committee member the Reverend James McGowan was thanked for his assistance and Bishop Robert Paterson closed the launch with prayers.
In the coming weeks, the glossy 32-page festival brochure will be distributed via the venues and other outlets.
The festival also features a photography competition. Entries should be of a floral arrangement depicting the theme of Our Island Year of Culture, taken in one of the participating venues.
Only prints are being accepted and they should be A5 size. Entries are limited to four per person and any photographs featuring people must have their written permission before submission.
Participants should write their name, phone number and the venue where the photo was taken clearly on the reverse of every photo. Entries from all ages are welcome; if under-18, please give your date of birth.
As well as 19 churches, the Old Grammar School in Castletown and the Grove Museum in Ramsey are participating venues for this year’s Flower Festival.
The churches taking part are: Marown Church; Kirk Braddan Parish Church; St Thomas’s Church, Douglas, Onchan Elim Pentecostal; Christ Church, Laxey; Waterloo Road Methodist Church, Ramsey; St Paul’s Church, Ramsey; St Olave’s, Ramsey; Bride Methodist Chapel; St Bridget’s Church, Bride; St Jude’s Chapel; St Stephen’s Church, Sulby; St German’s Cathedral, Peel; Holy Trinity Church, Patrick; Glen Maye Chapel, Kerrowkeill Methodist Chapel; Kirk Malew (St Lupas), Ballasalla; St Columba’s RC Church, Port Erin.
For more information visit www.flowerfest.im
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