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A Fayre Century

by glynch — last modified 28 Jun, 2018 05:38 PM

Poole church celebrates a hundred years of a parish fair at the centre of community life

A Poole church is celebrating a century of a parish fair that is at the centre of community life.

Around 700 local residents of all ages joined the mayor of the borough at the Parkstone Summer Fayre, which has been orgainsed by St Peter’s Church since 1919.

St Peter’s Rector, Fr Michael Camp, said, “We really feel good about how the fayre went. This event takes a lot of work. People get on and do it together, which generates friendships and community before the event has even taken place.

“Working together like that is a really profound thing.

“To be continuing the tradition is really good and when something is so much a part of the local calendar there are a lot of people who look forward to it and we are inundated in the weeks leading up to it checking when the summer fayre is.”

The church school, Baden Powell and St Peters, was involved in organising the event, as were a number of local charities, churches, and businesses based in Parkstone.

Fr Michael said the church was key to a Lower Parkstone neighbourhood going through rapid change and with a definite ‘urban village’ feel perhaps more associated with bigger metropolitan cities.

“The area around Ashley Cross green does feel like a village. There has been a lot of social and commercial development around the green, there is a nice buzz. 

“The church is physically at the centre of that and in the coming years we want to enhance that. We want to enlarge the amount of events that take place in the church and open it up to be more accessible to more of the community. We want to engage the community in a range of different ways. 

“There are a lot of people moving around near the church. We really want to make it a place that looks more accessible as well.

“The church also becomes a focus for all kinds of significant moments for a community. Big moments like baptisms, weddings and funerals, and in some cases those events are more than just the family. 

“St Peter’s itself dates from 80 years before the fayre, and there has been a church in this part of Poole for well over a thousand years. In the scheme of things, the hundred years is important, but it is relatively small part of the history of the church in this place”

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