After so many months of preparation, it is hard to believe that our special exhibition for 2012 is over, but what happy memories we have! The church was never empty and indeed often full of appreciative visitors, many local but also from far and wide including across the world. The poor weather didn't put them off and indeed many were glad of a warm dry place to spend an hour or two, especially if they were on holiday.
The comments in the visitors' books are a good way of finding out how people felt about the exhibition and firstly, and most importantly, they felt welcome! ‘Very friendly people’, ‘lovely bright welcome, glad I came’ they wrote. They appreciated the church setting too, calling it ‘pretty’, ‘attractive’ and ‘a lovely church in a lovely village’.
The exhibition itself was certainly greatly appreciated from all points of view. People described it as ‘absolutely excellent’, ‘very impressive’, superb’, ‘exceptional’, ‘brilliant’, ‘first class’, ‘splendid’ and ‘fabulous’! They liked the displays: ‘very well arranged’, ‘well thought out’, ‘what a lovely range’, ‘good to be able to handle/touch/read’, and they appreciated the preparation beforehand: ‘what a lot of hard work and dedication’, ‘just beautiful - a lot of hard work went into this and it shows’.
Some people seemed surprised and pleased at what they found : ‘delighted I popped in - lovely exhibition for all ages’, ‘inspirational and moving’, ‘a really amazing exhibition, stayed an hour but didn't manage to read everything’, ‘excellent, fun, informative, a great exhibition’, ‘super display, the grandchildren wanted to keep colouring’, ‘thank you for the opportunity to enjoy your church’.
Others picked out their favourite bits: ‘wonderful memorabilia’, ‘many memories evoked’, ‘the paintings of the Queen are amazing’, ‘enjoyed finding the corgis’, ‘lovely to include the children’, ‘great school input’, ‘like the children's banners’, ‘flower arrangements superb’.
And the atmosphere was noted too: ‘Feels like a family church, lots of work and community involvement - loved the child-friendly feel’, ‘lovely church, lovely people, made to feel very welcome’.
Finally, two entries which really sum everything up: ‘Splendid, one of the best nostalgic exhibitions we have seen’ and ‘Wonderful and very successful effort; HM the Queen would be proud of you!’ If the letter from Buckingham Palace which we were delighted to receive on the eve of the exhibition is anything to go by, then perhaps that might be true!
Many thanks to the amazing team who helped in every way to put the whole project together and make the Jubilee truly memorable for us all, parishioners and visitors alike.
Marion Standing, Chairman Jubilee Steering Group
Diamond Jubilee Flower Festival & Exhibition June 2nd - 10th 2012