The Mediaeval Fayre is a church fete with a very big difference!
Saturday 27 June 2020
The first Fayre was held in 1978, so this year’s will be the 43rd! Quite an achievement! It was launched as a fund-raising exercise towards the Restoration Fund which itself was instigated to raise funds for the restoration of the stonework of the church building. This restoration cost over £100,000, and the funds were gradually collected with the aid of grants and fundraising and the work done! The Fayre continued to raise funds towards the fabric of the church until the cost of the day-to-day running of the church became too much to be provided only from the collections in church. At this time the income from the Fayre then became part of the general income of the church.
Since the beginning, one of the highlights has been the theme, usually a historical character - real or fictitious - which set the time period and encouraged stall-holders to dress in costume for that period. It also encourages the local schools to join in with art-work, which they continue to do year after year.
A whole range of activities take place in the churchyard, within the church, and outside on the road. Chipping Hill is closed for the duration of the Fayre, and used for the Morris Dancers, Witham Twirlettes (cheerleaders), Tap and Ballet dancers and similar activities.
In the church we are entertained by bands and groups from the schools, interspersed with organ music from our accomplished organists. There is entertainment in the churchyard, which has in recent years included Knights in Armour and Birds of Prey.
A number of craft stalls line the path towards the church gate at Chipping Hill, which typically range from wicker baskets, through lace making, pyrography, poll lathe turning to corn dollies. Some of the more delicate crafts are often found in the church, for example calligraphy and book binding.
Around the churchyard itself can be found sideshows, sale items and games of chance. The sideshows are aimed mainly at the children at pocket-money prices. The Face Painting stall continues to be popular! The younger children also love to bounce on the
The Fayre provides the typical English summer refreshments, with strawberry and cream teas, and home-made cakes, while the Burger Stall provides burgers with delicious fried onions.
We hope that we have whetted your appetite. People now come from quite some distance each year and we entertain some 2,000 to 3,000 people during the afternoon. We would be most pleased to welcome you too!