St Andrew’s Church Patronal Festival Weekend 2016

Patronal Festival

On Sunday 28th August 2016, the annual Patronal Festival of St Andrew’s Church was celebrated with a service of Family Communion attended by a congregation of over 70 adults and young people. The Benefice Choir sang an unaccompanied setting of Psalm 19 and two 20th century anthems; ‘Day by day’ by Martin How and ‘God be in my head’ by Philip Wilby. The Rector was the Celebrant and the Preacher was the Revd. Mary Ridgewell. Afterwards, the congregation enjoyed coffee, juice and a slice of celebration cake.

Church Fete

After two years of not very good weather on August Bank Holiday Monday (who could forget the monsoon conditions of 2015?!), on the Saturday before the Fete it all looked rather depressingly as if the 2016 Fete would suffer once again. But, no. Over two hundred villagers turned out on Stoney Hills Field - courtesy of the Jeffery family - to set up and stock their stalls as the day grew brighter and sunnier by the hour.

At 1.00 pm, the sky was cloudless and the sun was blazing as the flypast from Compton Abbas launched the 2016 Church Fete and the Bell Street Jazz Band struck up.

There was plenty for the 1,500 visitors who attended to do. There was a fantastic array of stalls including Collectables, Vintage & Bric a Brac; Paintings, Prints and Frames; Plants, Garden Equipment, Vases & Pots; Fashion, Shoes & Accessories; Books; Toys, Games & Gifts; Cakes, Biscuits and Fudge; Preserves and Chutneys; and the Friends’ Stall selling Christmas Cards and limited edition prints designed by local artists.

All three food and drink stalls did a roaring trade from 1.00pm onwards with Buttlings’ ever- popular burgers and sausages, delicious home-made cream teas, savouries and cakes and fine cider from Donhead Apple together with excellent Ringwood bitter. Everything had sold out by the time the Fete closed at 5.00 pm.

For the young and the young-at-heart there was a Coconut Shy, a Skittle Alley, a Shooting Range, an hilarious Human Fruit Machine, Crockery Smashing and Pony Rides. New this year were Limbo Dancing and some shy but beautiful alpacas from Alpaca Adventures.

The Bottle Tombola featured over 250 very desirable bottles to be won. The Raffle, with big cash and other prizes, did very well too, actually selling out of Raffle tickets. There was lively bidding for the fourteen lots in the Live Auction. The ‘Guess the value of the wine in the Church Wardens’ Wheelbarrow’ made a popular return.

St Andrew’s Church Fete’s celebrated Dog Show attracted far more entries than in previous years and took place with a large crowd seated around the ring enjoying every moment of the owners’ triumphs and mishaps.

Back again this year was a Classic and Vintage Car Show; a much bigger show than ever. Over 40 proud owners brought along a remarkable collection of fine old cars, vintage jeeps and motor bikes. A large number of car enthusiasts spent time looking enviously at the vehicles on display.

As well as the generous support of villagers, Fete sponsors included Natural Woodflooring, Natural High Safaris, Sans Farm Kennels, St Swithuns Building & Conservation, Clifford T Shean Electrical Contractors, Catchpole Law, Merefield & Henstridge Funeral Directors, Wessex Fire & Security, Bassets Estate Agents, M.A.B. Heating, Farnfields Solicitors, Guild Anderson Furniture Makers, Ludwell Village Stores, Wren Classics, Carol Buttling Physiotherapy and Hawes Arborists. Those who supported us with prizes and other contributions included H.W.White, Ringwood Breweries, Donhead Apple, Rob Beale, Buttlings The Butcher, The Forester Pub & Dining, Ludwell Village Stores, Ansty Farm Shop, Co-operative Funeral Care, Rushmore Golf Club, The Grove Arms, Turnbulls of Shaftesbury, Tesco, Fitness by Design Gym, The Grosvenor at Shaftesbury, Prime Cuts Traditional Butcher, Amore Restaurant,Ted Martin Flowers, Blackmore Vale Magazine,Valley News and Rural View. Our thanks to all of them.

£15,970 was raised. With expenses of just under £2,500, the surplus on the 2015 Church Fete was just under £13,500. This is a marvellous result. The Church Fete Committee would like to thank everyone who contributed to the Fete in so many ways. There was wonderful team work in the village over several months and a very happy sense of community on the day.

The proceeds will go towards the work, ministry and charitable mission of St Andrew’s Church and to support the Wiltshire Air Ambulance, Tisbus and the Happy Gathering Club.

Michael Hockney

Chairman, St Andrew’s Church 2016 Fete Committee

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