The Church Fete

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St Laurence’s Church, Affpuddle, Fête

Midsummer, for as long as people can remember, even during the past two World Wars, there has been the Annual Church Fête. On the rare occasion when wet weather has prevailed or been forecasted, the Fête has been in the Briantspuddle Village Hall, but obviously on a much reduced scale. More frequently, the sun has shined and the Fête has been in a private garden in Briantspuddle or in the Peace Garden adjacent to the Church.

The Fete is normally on a Saturday afternoon from about 2.00 until 5.00pm and its purpose is twofold: to raise money for the Church without which it would not survive and to provide entertainment for local people, friends and visitors. The Vicar, or occasionally, a celebrity will declare the Fête open and then the fun starts. There is always a band and in 2017 this was Wareham Town Band. There are always teas, sandwiches and cakes, and a separate cakes stall. Other stalls have varied over the years. In 2016 there was a bric-a-brac stall, a plant stall, a book stall, tombola, a raffle, skittles, and a coconut shy. Teas and cakes always make money, likewise bric-a-brac, raffle and tombola. Other stalls focus on entertainment and there is something for young and old.

A token entry fee is charged for adults, currently £1 – and at the end of the day after the band, press and other expenses have been paid, church funds will be about £1000 healthier. It is key date in the calendar, an occasion for ladies to appear in their summer dresses and the community as a whole to meet and enjoy.