The art of garnishing churches Friday 29 January at 7pm

This was the first Zoom lecture arranged by the Heritage Trust, and we were pleased that it was attended by Friends from beyond the Marple area, e.g. Oxford, Leicester, Bury St Edmunds.

The lecture began by describing how the decoration of churches, chiefly with evergreens such as holly and ivy, was popular in the later 19th century. Various instruction books and magazine articles gave detailed instructions on “the art of garnishing churches”.

Next, the lecture surveyed what was done in various local churches, drawing information from local newspapers. St Martin’s and All Saints Marple were featured, together with churches in Bredbury, Romiley, Norbury, High Lane, Poynton, Hayfield, Chapel-en-le-Frith, Godley, Compstall and Offerton.

Finally, the lecture commented on the social value of this activity, not least the opportunities it gave for enthusiastic young ladies to meet eligible clergymen.

The art of garnishing churches