Mexborough and Swinton Times, July 30 1897
Conisborough Church Flower Festival
Tuesday last being St Peters day, the patron saint of the old church, special services were held. At 8 a.m. there was a celebration of the holy Communion, at which there was a large number of communicants, many being members of the Guild of St Peter.
A children’s flower service was held in the evening at 7 p.m. Thhe flower services at Conisborough are always very popular. Not only amongst children but with the parents as well, the children assembled in the Sunday school at 6 o’clock and having been arranged in proper order a procession was formed, headed by the Rev J. Crawford, which proceeded by way of High Street, West Street, and Church Street, back to church. The choirboys and the vicar, robed in their surplices and cassocks, were at the end of the long and interesting possession. Each child carried a bunch of flowers, which were presented in the church.
The service commenced at 7 o’clock. Hymn 343, “God eternal, mighty King,” was sung as the choir and clergy walked up the church to their places in the chancel, followed by hymns 391 and 540, which were song as the children brought up their flowers and gave them to the clergy. The shortened form of evensong was used and a special psalm was sung.
The praise were then intoned by the vicar, and the special lesson was read by the Rev. J. G. Wood, vicar of Ormsby, who also was the selected preacher for the festival. Many of the parishioners were pleased to welcome their old vicar once more amongst them. Mr Wood worked in Conisborough for over 25 years, and during that time he was greatly respected.
A most suitable and appropriate address was given to the children by the preacher,, which was listened to with great attention. The rev. J. G. Wood, featured a splendid little sermon there for the special benefit of the children from the words: “the Lord God planted a garden.” Gen 2c 8v.
At the commencement he expressed a great pleasure it gave him to stand in their midst once more, by the kind invention of Mr Stock, and he was delighted to find that they kept up the flower service, and had presented their flowers at God’s altar, which would be accepted gratefully at the local hospitals, knowing them to have come from sympathetic friends. Jesus Christ taught by parables and chose some of the simplest things, the flowers of the field, the base of the air, to illustrate his spiritual truths. He hoped his hearers would take lessons even from the flowers of the field are the garden and remember that they are in the garden of the Lord. Some people take considerable pride in their gardens, keeping them free from weeds and rejoicing when they received the refreshing shower is to make things grow. So it was with them. Their friends would rejoice to see them grow, but when they came to look for flowers, could they always find them? There are several things to be seen to. They must keep the garden of their hearts free from weeds, which being interpreted means sin. Some sins were looked upon as large and some small, but they were not so in this light of the Great Gardener. The names of the sins were legion, but he would only mention a few which he wished them to avoid, namely, self consciousness, pride, conceit, wilfulness, rudeness, and violence.
The rev gentleman pointed out many useful lessons under these heads. As to the positive side of goodness, they were exhorted to cultivate the following graces – gentleness, modesty and self-sacrifice, which are some of the adornments of the soul. These would make them a blessing to God and man, and after the struggles of the present life they would be transplanted to the beautiful paradise above.
After the sermon a collection was made on behalf of the Sunday school. After the conclusion of the hymn the Blessing was pronounced by the preacher, which was followed by the beautiful Vesper Hymn, “Lord, keep us safe this night,” the well-known children’s hymn, “Now the day is over,” concluded the service.
The clergy presented were the Rev G. H. Stock, vicar, the Rev John Crawford, and the Rev J. G. Wood, vicar of Ormsby. The musical arrangements were carried out under the direction of Mr Haber White, the organist, assisted by the members of the St Peter’s string band. There was a full attendance of the choir, and the hymns were well rendered, and sung with great spirit. The festival services will be continued on Sunday.