​Spectacular waterfall inside West Sussex village church 15 years ago was witnessed by thousands

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​​A spectacular waterfall inside a West Sussex village church drew thousands of visitors and won praise from far and wide.

An army of designers and arrangers turned Holy Cross Church at Bignor into a haven of wildflowers, grasses and weeds for the Weed and Wild Flower Festival 15 years ago.

More than 4,000 visitors flocked to witness the magical scenes over the first weekend of July 2009. Organised by the South Downs Joint Committee (SDJC) and a team of villagers from Bignor, Sutton and Barlavington, the theme was heathland and downland.

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There was a meadow, broad leaf woodland area and conifer woodland leading up to the ambitious waterfall. Outside, the churchyard was filled with stalls selling everything from paintings to plant medicine.

Raindrops from heaven! Incredibly imaginative Weed and Wild Flower Festival organisers put on a jaw-dropping display inside Bignor Church. Picture: Louise AdamsRaindrops from heaven! Incredibly imaginative Weed and Wild Flower Festival organisers put on a jaw-dropping display inside Bignor Church. Picture: Louise Adams
Raindrops from heaven! Incredibly imaginative Weed and Wild Flower Festival organisers put on a jaw-dropping display inside Bignor Church. Picture: Louise Adams

The Sussex Folk Orchestra played under the yew tree outside the church and there was also an extravaganza of fire demonstration, with a charcoal burner as well as performers dancing and juggling with fire.

The unique event was a huge success, with many stallholders selling out of produce and refreshments. The number of visitors was double compared to the previous year and around £15,000 was raised for the church, though the most important thing was the celebration of the countryside.

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