Monday, September 15, 2008

Seal Fete - a stupendous success

After what has felt like a whole summer of rain we approached the fete on Sept 13th with a fair amount of trepidation, but the day dawned bright and the sun shone all day. And what a day it was! The Rec was packed with people all afternoon. Stalls raising money for local groups seemed to be doing a roaring trade. There were games for the children, falconry displays and a dog show that seemed to have brought out every dog owner in the village. There were dogs of all sizes, shapes and varieties, but they all seemed to be on their best behaviour (except for the small dog who decided to try to take a closer look at a rather fearsome looking bird of prey - fortunately the bird decided to give this tasty looking snack a miss!)

The church was responsible for providing cream teas, which sold well - early indications are that we have made a healthy profit which should help in our battle against the Death Watch Beetle in our rafters... There were various other stalls and activities raising money for the church, including a book stall, face painting and a marvellous collection of knitted scarves and hats made by Margaret Mountfield, each with a little personal note attached! Totals aren't in yet but it will all help.

The real profit from the day though was in the relationships that were made as the fete was planned and during the day. This initiative came out of the "know your neighbours" evenings the church ran earlier in the year, which drew together a wide range of people from the village many of whom hadn't met before. It is easy for communities to lose any sense of cohesion and identity these days. People get in their cars and travel elsewhere to work, to go to school, for leisure activities, bypassing their neighbours who can quickly become strangers to them. Gradually the things that keep a village alive are lost - shops, facilities, clubs and societies. It is only when we make the effort to come together that we discover that so much of what we long for, which we might have travelled great distances to find - fun, purpose, people who are interested in us and care about us - was right there on our doorsteps all the time.

I don't know whether the fete will become a regular fixture - that will depend on whether people want it to be! - but we are certainly hoping that this will be the beginning of all sorts of community enterprises in the future.
Thank you to Carol McCall for the pictures!

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