Parishioners create handmade flower tower at church

The flower tower at St Margaret of Antioch Church in Barley

The flower tower at St Margaret of Antioch Church in Barley - Credit: Peter Baker

A church tower has been adorned with handcrafted flowers to represent the English summer and to lift people's spirits following lockdown.

Parishioners of St Margaret of Antioch Church in Barley knitted, crocheted or stitched 1,452 flowers, displayed in a similar way to when poppies cascaded from the Tower of London for the First World War centenary. 

The art installation now nearly covers all 15 metres of the 12th century Norman church tower.

The flowers were created by the Barley community over the past few months of COVID-19 restrictions, with nearly everyone from six-year-old Beaver Scouts to elderly residents of Margaret House Care Home taking part. Friends and family joined in the effort - with some flowers sent in from as far away as Australia.

The flower tower at St Margaret of Antioch Church in Barley

The flower tower at St Margaret of Antioch Church in Barley - Credit: Peter Baker

Alison White, who designed and coordinated the flower tower, aimed to improve the mental health of the village and give residents something to focus on while there was no end of lockdown in sight.

She is hoping to raise £10 per flower, which will go towards maintaining the church as a space to benefit the entire village. The plans are to improve access to the church and introduce kitchen and toilet facilities to make the building more welcoming and enable it to be used more easily for events as the largest building in the village.

So far the project has raised more than £2,000, around 16 per cent of its £14,520 target.

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The Rev Canon Ruth Pyke, rector at St Margaret of Antioch, said: "The generosity of people in putting so much effort into this beautiful creation has bowled me over.

"The flowers are just another sign of their love for the village and its church. I hope we will inspire people from the wider community or who pass through the village to stop, admire our hanging and give generously so that the church can continue to give the village the space it deserves and needs, especially as we spend more time near to where we live."         

To donate, go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/barleyflowertower  

For more information, go to https://www.facebook.com/BarleyFlowerTower/ 

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