Say it with Flowers ... and the old, leather music bag
"Who can estimate the elevating and refining influences and moral value of flowers with all their graceful forms, bewitching shades and combinations of colours and exquisitely varied perfumes? These silent influences are unconsciously felt even by those who do not appreciate them consciously and thus with better and still better fruits, nuts, grains, vegetables and flowers, will the earth be transformed, man's thought refined, and turned from the base destructive forces into nobler production. One which will lift him to high planes of action toward the happy day when the Creator of all this beautiful work is more acknowledged and loved, and where man shall offer his brother man, not bullets and bayonets, but richer grains, better fruit and fairer flowers from the bounty of this earth."
Father George Schoener (1864 -1941)
The Importance and Fundamental Principles of Plant Breeding
The Language of Flowers, or Floriography to give it the smart name, is well documented and flowers meanings have been adopted and developed by many cultures over the centuries.
A flower may have several symbolic meanings and I daresay that we can all attach our own sentiments to various flowers, especially from childhood memories. A bluebell filled wood still comforts me with memories of carefree days of playtime in Spring.
From a single rose, to the most elaborate of floral arrangements, to a simple garland of daisies, flowers speak to our hearts like nothing else - a cryptological communication. A floral tribute conveys our emotions for the occasion with intentions to show gratitude. respect and admiration…. it says ‘we care’.
The art of flower arranging in church has a long tradition, with many churches having a Flower Guild or Team of Flower Arrangers who volunteer their time and creative skills to decorate the building; with church festivals being the main events to let their talents shine. The symbolic visions that church flowers can display may offer the onlooker a moment of clarity, food for thought or simply pleasure from the beauty of it all…….smile makers.
Family celebrations probably gather the biggest congregations today and these times often see the church adorned with many floral arrangements. A time when memories are made, evoked and reflected upon – the ambience that flowers can help to create is significant, as Father George Schoener said ‘ These silent influences are unconsciously felt even by those who do not appreciate them consciously…….’
‘Saying it with Flowers’ will support our own wellbeing in many ways and St Nicholas church is fortunate to have a small ‘Flower Team’ who skilfully use their floral art to decorate the church when needed. In years gone by there has been a more formal ‘Flower Guild’ with meetings, minutes and a bank balance. Today the ‘Flower Team’ is a much more casual affair and is always looking for new volunteers to join the Flower Rota. No experience is needed, just a passion for flowers and a little time to spare. Arranging flowers in the peace and quiet of a church can be the most rewarding of pastimes – time well spent on ones self!
A couple of years ago an old, leather music bag was left at a Monday Coffee Morning in St Nicholas church – it contained a wonderful collection of memorabilia from the Flower Guild of years gone by. Minutes of meetings, account books, flower rotas, photos and some lovely, hand written letters and cards, to the Guild, for various occasions. You can see a more recent ‘Online Thank You’ on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/castlehedingham/posts/571254729910093
The old leather music bag has been well looked after and will be on display along with the contents (the Minute Book starts in January 1964 with Mrs Godfrey Thomas noted as chairman) at the launch of the ‘Voices from the Pews’ exhibition on Saturday June 26th – 12noon – 4pm.
‘If music be the food of love’ …..then ‘Let flowers be the wine’! - Feel the rhythm and fill your heart…….. ♥
writtten by Anne Nelson June 2021