Focus on …. Flower Arrangers
We all associate flowers with the big events in our lives – at times of celebration, such as a wedding or baptism, or at times of sadness and remembrance – and this is why, for so many, flowers have a language which is so meaningful. In Wells Cathedral, flowers bring a visual exuberance to the great festivals of Christmas and Easter, a wonderful release of colour and joy after the austerity of Advent or Lent, when there are no flowers in the Cathedral.
This Easter Eve, the Cathedral will be decorated with hundreds of flowers: lilies, with their elegance and wonderful scent, are so evocative of Easter and always have a special place in our arrangements at this time. Many lilies are given each year to celebrate the life of a loved one or perhaps to give thanks for God’s blessing during the year.
Wells Cathedral flower arranging team has 34 members, all of whom are volunteers, give their time and creativity to enhance the beauty of the building and its liturgy. From the magnificence of a large pedestal in the Nave, to the smallest arrangement in a side chapel, their work is offered for all – visitors, worshippers and staff – to share.
Kathryn Beer (who recently took over as organiser of the team) commented “visitors often pause to speak to us when we are working and it is always humbling to be thanked by someone who has found that the flowers have added to their experience of being in the Cathedral.” “ One lady, who arranges flowers in Sherborne Abbey, said that she regularly comes over on the bus to admire the flowers in Wells Cathedral, and takes home ideas to share!”
With the exceptions of Advent and Lent, members of the team arrange flowers every fortnight and it is the responsibility of each arranger to see that the flowers and foliage used are well conditioned and refreshed as necessary so that the arrangement lasts for two weeks. Some of the team have a regular position in one of the Chapels, while others are placed on a rota three or four times a year to do the larger pedestal arrangements. The aim is always to offer a gift of creativity which is sensitive to the spaces and position it occupies.
The arrangers come from all walks of life and from all corners of the diocese. Some have professional training and experience in floristry, other have perfected their skills through one of the local floral art clubs or from a lifetime’s experience of arranging in churches and cathedrals.
Jane, our longest serving member, has been arranging flowers in the Cathedral for over fifty years and many others have also given long and loyal service. Kathryn finished “ Amongst all, long serving or newest recruit, there is a very special sharing or friendship and support for one another which makes our coming together on Friday mornings and the work we do joyful and fulfilling – and a wonderful privilege!”
If you are interested in either volunteering to be part of the flower arranging team or making a contribution towards the glorious flowers, please contact :
Reception (01749 674483) or [email protected]