These shoes were made for planting

SHOES filled with flowers led from the gateway into a place of worship, and along its stairs and corridors - helping to illustrate that the church is about people not buildings.

SHOES filled with flowers led from the gateway into a place of worship, and along its stairs and corridors - helping to illustrate that the church is about people not buildings.

The idea was part of a flower festival at Maidstone Road Baptist Church in Felixstowe to celebrate the church's 200th anniversary.

Around 300 people visited the colourful festival as part of the bicentennial events.

It was a real community event with 22 people exhibiting, including flower clubs, other churches from around the resort, and individuals.


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Minister Rev Dr Mark Reid said the flower-filled shoes had excited a lot of comment.

“It was the idea of the flower festival organiser to show that the church is about people and not about buildings and the shoes represent the steps of those who come in here,” he said.

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People in the church were asked to fill an old pair of shoes with flowers - and dozens arrived and were placed from the gateway heading into the church in Maidstone Road, along corridors and passageways and up the stairs.

The weekend included a meal, with a celebration cake to mark the two centuries, and a barn dance, held at River of Life Church, with 150 people connected with the church past and present attending.

There were also special services, with Nigel Wright, principal of Spurgeon's College, London, where many Baptist ministers are trained, as guest speaker at one of them.

Also attending were some members of Stoke Green Baptist Church in Ipswich, whose members in 1808 founded Maidstone Road Baptist Church as the first non-conformist church in Felixstowe.

Dr Reid said: “It was a superb weekend - it went really well and everyone enjoyed it.

“An incredible amount of hard work went into it and people have told us it was a celebration that will be remembered for a long time.”

Dr Reid, who arrived at the church in December last year as the church's 27th minister, having been at Swaffham as pastor for the previous five years, said he and his family were thrilled to be involved and it had been a very special time.

The church today is very involved with the community, providing a parent and toddler group, baby clothes and equipment exchange service, children's club, open house for the elderly and a parish nurse.

Is your church holding a special event - write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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