St Philip’s Church celebrated its 150th anniversary with a flower festival, a history exhibition and plenty of socialising over refreshments on the weekend of 12–14 May 2017.
The festivities kicked off with the official opening of the flower festival by noted biologist, environmentalist and broadcaster Éanna Ní Lamhna on the evening of Thursday, 11 May 2017. The church was filled with a gloriously fragrant array of thirty floral arrangements created or sponsored by parishioners or groups belonging to the wider parish community. After the speeches in the church, the event moved to the parish hall where the crowd of attendees could mingle over wine, canapés and cake while viewing the history exhibition. The church and hall remained open throughout the weekend to enable people to visit the various displays.
The flower festival, which was coordinated by Ruth Potterton, featured a mix of beautiful traditional floral arrangements and wider interpretations of the concept. For instance, the children and staff of Bambini Montessori used recycled materials to create a variety of spring flowers, such as daffodils made from egg cartons, while the 33rd Dublin (Sandford) Beaver Scouts created a model of St Philip’s Church and its grounds with each individual Beaver Scout represented by an actual Beaver made out of a pine cone with eyes, tail and paws. The flower festival spilled out onto the church grounds with five more displays including an arrangement of greenery pruned in the shape of 1867, a gift to the Revd Sonia Gyles from her fiancé Greg Ward to mark the parish’s 150th anniversary.
Inside St Philip’s Hall, an exhibition curated by Ivar McGrath provided an illustrated introduction to the history of the parish through a combination of laminated posters and PowerPoint slides that functioned as a silent documentary.
The celebrations closed on Sunday, 14 May 2017 with an evening prayer service to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the consecration of the church on 1 May 1867. The service featured a sermon by the Most Revd Michael Jackson, Archbishop of Dublin and Bishop of Glendalough, as well as the debut of ‘You are the Way’, a choir piece composed by the Revd Anne-Marie O’Farrell to mark the anniversary. Gloria Smythe coordinated the catering, ensuring a constant flow of delicious refreshments throughout the weekend.