FRESH: Cathedral Festival of Flowers co-ordinator Leonie Roberts takes a quick break from making sure the display flowers are looking their best.
FRESH: Cathedral Festival of Flowers co-ordinator Leonie Roberts takes a quick break from making sure the display flowers are looking their best. Clair Morton

Cathedral flower festival in full bloom

EVERY year for the past three decades, the interior of Grafton's Christ Church Cathedral has been transformed into a floral wonderland for the Cathedral's Festival of Flowers.

It is a Jacaranda tradition in place since 1984, and it is put on for a very important reason - all money raised during the festival goes towards keeping the church supplied with fresh flowers each week of the year.

The Christ Church Cathedral is one of the few churches in the wider area, and perhaps New South Wales, yet to ditch fresh arrangements in favour of artificial silk flowers.

Festival co-ordinator Leonie Roberts said the fresh flower arrangements added life to the church interior, and never went unnoticed by the public.

"People come in here and they say how lovely the fresh flowers are," she said.

"They can smell the perfume of them too."

It is for this reason that Mrs Roberts is determined to keep it that way for as long as possible.

She has been a member of the floral guild for years, and took to the helm of the Jacaranda Festival event in 2008.

"We're the ones who organise fresh flowers in the church," she said.

"There are five flower arrangements each week, and originally I just wanted to see it carry on until our (church's) silver anniversary. It went on from there."

With the help of the dedicated women from the Grafton Floral Art Society and the church's Floral Guild, they have built up a spectacular display this year under the theme "all things bright and beautiful".

"The ladies have really taken that on board," she said.

Red roses, orange chrysanthemums and yellow lilies are among the floral blooms which brighten the cathedral space.

There is also a room full of memorial flowers for people to remember their loved ones.

Mrs Roberts said she still loved hearing the reactions of people who visited.

 

 

"Time has taken its toll (on the Floral Guild) but we'll just take it year by year and keep going as long as we can," she said.

 

 

 

The Cathedral Festival of Flowers is open from 9am-4pm every day until Saturday. Adult entry is $5, or $3 for concession holders.



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