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 Lambeg Flower Festival is an inspiration for all

LAMBEG Parish Church

LAMBEG Parish Church will be opening its doors to everyone from Friday to Monday, October 5-8, for an inspirational flower festival.

Lady Christine Eames will open the 'Lord of the Harvest' at 7pm on the Friday evening and a full weekend of events is planned.

The festival, which has something for everyone, is open to the public and members of Lambeg Parish are keen to give a warm welcome to their neighbours and visitors from across the Lisburn area and beyond.

There are many special features of the flower festival that will capture the history of this worship site and make it an ideal place to visit. Lambeg Parish Church has a strong connection to the Titanic's gentleman hero Thomas Andrews and his wife Helen, and this has been brought to life by the Rector, Rev Canon Ken McReynolds in a unique exhibition and souvenir booklet 'Where dreams began and ended' featuring previously unseen material, which will be among the highlights of the festival.

Commenting on the festival launch, Canon McReynolds said: "Sometimes when we lead such busy lives we rarely pause to appreciate the rich heritage and beautiful buildings on our own doorstep. Our Harvest flower festival is a perfect opportunity for local people and visitors alike to come and enjoy the peace, quiet and reflection in the church, have a coffee and a chat, and get a sense of the history and beauty of this place."

As well as being able to view the beautiful floral exhibits created by Alan Beatty and his team, there will be an opportunity to visit the festival Tea Room for morning coffee, lunch or afternoon tea. Other attractions include a pop-up 'Market Place' with a wide variety of stalls, fresh local produce, quality crafts and Titanic memorabilia.

Visitors to the festival and collectors will also be given a rare opportunity to acquire some new and original artwork, including two new pictures gifted to us by well-known local artist Jo Reilly.

Historians and collectors of Titanic memorabilia will be particularly interested in a large, beautifully presented Limited Edition signed print of the Titanic by renowned Bangor artist, Gavin Fitzsimons. These and other original pieces will be on display in our Tea Room Gallery before being auctioned on the Saturday afternoon at pm. After enjoying the flower festival, take a tour of the historic churchyard and visit the Barbour Family Vault, read the poignant inscription on the broken column monument over the grave of Essy Pelan who died on the anniversary of her 21st birthday, 1st March 1833 (of a broken heart) and learn about the 'Nun's Garden', the seat of an ancient nunnery in the mid 1600's and the subject of much local folklore in Lambeg. A festival concert featuring the Harlandic Male Voice Choir and the 1st Old Boys Brass Band completes the festival programme on Monday evening (8 Oct).

Tickets can be ordered on 028 9266 3872. Refreshments are available throughout the festival and it is advisable for groups to book in advance by emailing or by contacting 028 9061 6032.

Ulster Star