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Aslan is on the move – in flowers

 

Valentina, Carla, Catherine and Arthur assist flower arrangers Johann Henderson and Hannah Nelson with their floral recreation of Aslan from ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe'.
Valentina, Carla, Catherine and Arthur assist flower arrangers Johann Henderson and Hannah Nelson with their floral recreation of Aslan from ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe'.

A striking image of Aslan, the lion from CS Lewis’ Narnia adventures, is being created in flowers as part of a flower and cultural festival in Lewis’ childhood church in East Belfast.

The festival will be opened by Lady Christine Eames at 12 noon on Friday 28 September at St Mark’s, Dundela, and will run to Sunday 30 September. It will showcase the work of artistic director Barbara Megarry and the finest of Northern Ireland’s floral artists from the Northern Ireland Group of Flower Arranging Societies (NIGFAS), many of whom have won awards at the Chelsea Flower Show.

Alongside 17 stunning floral creations on the Harvest theme ‘A seed is sown’, NIGFAS members have been passing on their skills to Rainbows, Brownies and children of the parish who have been planning a life size lion which they will make using tiny chrysanthemums and carnations.

NIGFAS member Johann Henderson said: “We are pulling out all the creative stops for this event. It is a joy to work with the children, although one had to be reassured that the lion wouldn’t eat her!”

The weekend’s events include a concert by Ashfield Girls School, Ashfield Boys School and Strathearn Chamber Choir, dramatic readings by St Marks Players, and talks by local ‘Lewis’ expert Mr Sandy Smith. A children’s art competition, craft stall and refreshments will also be on offer, and the lion door knob which reportedly inspired the Narnia books will be on public display.

St Mark’s Church has been a landmark on the Holywood Road for 140 years and urgent roof repairs have been completed just in time for the festival. The Rector, the Revd Helene T Steed, is excited to welcome visitors from across Northern Ireland: “The floral designs are spectacular, and, with some thought–provoking quotations and time for quiet contemplation or to enjoy the musical entertainment, we hope our festival will truly have something for everyone.”

Find out full programme details and make a group booking by visiting the parish website.