Shirley’s historic church stages annual flower festival

Shirley Poppies, grown on the grave of the Rev Wilkes in St John’s churchyard

Shirley church St John’s hosts its flower festival from Friday until Sunday, May 18-20.

The exhibition takes place inside the historic, Grade II-listed church from 10am till 5pm, except on Sunday when the show is from noon till 4pm.

The first 65 visitors each day will benefit from a free handcrafted tote bag.

St John’s floral links go back to Rev William Wilkes, the church’s vicar from 1879 to 1912.

Wilkes was secretary of the Royal Horticultural Society and it was he who he developed the Shirley Poppy.

After enjoying the flower festival there’s a treat in store at the festival tea room, live music from local groups and schools to listen to, and the famous churchyard to visit, with the Lloyd family memorial and the tomb of the parents of the romantic poet, John Ruskin.

The Ruskin family tomb in the churchyard at St John’s Shirley

Click here for the church’s website.

St John the Evangelist church is at Shirley Church Road, Shirley, Croydon, CR0 5EF

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