The Fete took place in the Vicarage Garden on the afternoon of Saturday 29th June. This was the first church fete since the merger of our three parishes – St Giles Shermanbury, St Peter’s Woodmancote and St Peter’s Henfield and it was great to see members of all three churches working together, side by side, to raise money for our new combined parish.

The sun shone for us on the hottest day of the year, temperatures soaring into the mid-eighties Fahrenheit. So the gazebos went up to give the stall holders and their goods some shade and the attire became very informal, shorts, sundresses and sun hats being the order of the day. The church bells joyously rang out at 1.30 heralding the start of a busy and hot afternoon.

In the arena the Special Events, starting with the Patcham Silver Band, were appreciated and applauded. We also enjoyed watching ‘home talent’ with a melodious hand bell demonstration and Shady our very own Henfield magician once again amazing us with his magic.

People happily participated too in all the fun and games, from ‘table pong’ to ‘face painting’, ‘lucky dip’, ‘hook-a-duck’ and the innovative test of ‘drawing your own self portrait’. There was of course the familiar tried and tested array of stalls selling plants, toys, books, bric-a-brac, jams & preserves, pre-loved & vintage things, hobbies & crafts, scarves & jewellery, a bottle tombola and woodcrafts.

A mention must be made of the delicious assortment of edible items from a sweet stall, hot dogs, cream teas, Indian snacks and probably the most popular of all on such a warm day – ice creams, Pimms and lemonade. Last but not least thanks must go to Jackie and Peter Bates for once again coming up with a staggering range of wonderful raffle prizes, thanks to the generosity of local businesses, and to the team of helpers that assisted in the sales and folding the tickets on Saturday afternoon. Our grateful thanks also to Richard Kendall and his team who added up all the money.

The committee (Jan Doick, Revd Harriet Neale-Stevens, Katrina Phipps and Heather MacFarlane-Cryer) are to be congratulated on planning such a well-organised successful event.

Photographs Pamela and Barry Chaston

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