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‘Flower Tower’ celebrates church reopening

Sunday saw the reopening of St Peter’s church building in Chertsey celebrated after a long-awaited refurbishment. The occasion was marked by a striking ‘Flower Tower’ cascade.

Inspired by similar projects undertaken elsewhere Clare Rice, the Children’s Church Leader, had this fabulous vision back in early 2023 of a sea of colour cascading down the church building.

The team at St Peter’s contacted several places that had completed art installations and found those they connected with to be very helpful with their advice, top tips and cautionary tales! 

Following the formation of a dedicated team, an invitation was issued to the whole of Chertsey to encourage the local community to get involved in knitting, crocheting and sewing flowers in bright colours - lots were needed! 

The church community were blown away by the response via their Facebook page with people asking how they could get involved. Wonderful creations were delivered day after day. 

The talented people included local care home residents, individuals, and a number of local groups such as the craft groups at Revive coffee shop, Knit & Natter and Hub Arts & Crafts. 

An evening was held at the church to help people get involved – some brought their knitting needles and the flowers they were working on, others helped teach people who had never crocheted before, patterns were shared, and friends made. The evening was such a success that a new group, ‘Creative Friends’, was born, who now meet monthly in the church hall.

Local primary schools were also part of this wonderful community initiative, creating flowers in their school colours and felt bees with googly eyes.

By the end of the flower-making phase, some 3000 flowers had been created, which again both the church and wider community helped attach to the 11.5m x 7m netting. This couldn’t have happened without the commitment of Maggie Boreham, who not only coordinated the sewing but also welcomed people into her home in small teams in what must have at times felt like a non-stop 24-hour rota.

The ‘Flower Tower’ was finally installed and ready for the worship service on Sunday 24 September, which Bishop Andrew Watson joined to help celebrate and see the wonderful community effort.

Vicar of St Peter’s, Revd Tim Hillier said “The Chertsey community have been incredible. This project represents so much more than just the church re-opening. It represents a time of growth and new creation; it represents St Peter’s as a central place for all of God’s people to come together as one. Jesus calls us to follow him, just as the disciples cast their nets into the sea of Galilee we cast our net across Chertsey, a wildly wonderful, colourful net that we hope will catch the hearts of all who come to visit.” 

The St Peter’s church community hopes all those who come to see the spectacular sight enjoy what is a tremendous community project, something that Chertsey should be very proud of. We hope it lifted spirits, made people smile and offered an opportunity to reflect on what an amazing community Chertsey is to live in. 

The church is once again open to visitors during the week with space for quiet prayer and reflection and an opportunity for people to see how it looks post-refurbishment, and the cascade will remain in place till the Harvest celebrations on Sunday 8 October.

The full story, including more photos, is available here.

Bishop Andrew and Revd Christine Pattison standing front of the a colourful netting of crafted flowers

Interior shot of St Peter's Church in Cherstey with congregration, decorated with colourful crafted flowers Interior shot of St Peter's Church in Cherstey with congregration, decorated with colourful crafted flowers

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