Midhurst Parish Church patronal festival celebrations

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There were ukeleles, barn dancing and picnics in Midhurst’s Market Square when the parish church of St Mary Magdalene and St Denys held its annual patrol festival celebrations.

The celebrations began with a free barn dance in the square on Saturday evening with music from the local Ceilidh band Clunch, whose group included an expert caller of the dances.

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Those who attended were invited to bring along their own picnic and take part in the dancing on one of the first real summer evenings of the year.

The musical theme continued on Sunday after the Patronal Festival Service when the South Downs Ukelele Orchestra, led by Marco Frankland, provided the entertainment.

Archdeacon Fiona Windsor, guest preacher at the service, tried her hand at the ukelele much to the enjoyment of the congregation.

Festival organisers had laid out a ‘refectory table’ in the square for a ‘bring and share’ lunch attended by the congregation.

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Church warden Mike Abbot told the Observer: “The patronal celebration lunch was a lot of fun in the lovely weather and the barn dance the previous evening was a relaxed and fun occasion enjoyed by people from all around the town.”