Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

Corpus Christi carpet in South Wimbledon

According to an article in The Bridge, the newspaper of the Anglican Diocese of Southwark, July/August 2023, on Sunday 11 June ‘the church community at All Saints, Wimbledon [London Borough of Merton] laid their traditional carpet of flowers for the Solemnity of Corpus Christi to celebrate the day of thanksgiving for the institution of Holy Communion’.

A churchwarden explained work on the carpet started three days earlier, ‘when greenery and designs were laid out’:

‘Then, from 6 a.m. on Sunday morning, the petals – provided by the congregation – were arranged so that the scent and colour was at its best for the service.  This year’s theme was ‘his mercy is from age to age’ – the Holy Spirit blessing and accompanying every fruitful encounter between different generations: between grandparents and grandchildren, between young and old’.

We are grateful to Christopher Maurice, a churchwarden at All Saints, who in September 2023 supplied us with information on this carpet:

‘We started laying a Floral Carpet for Corpus Christi and have – save for Covid – laid one every year since.  Over the years I have to say that the designs have become somewhat more elaborate!!  Originally we kept the Feast of Corpus Christi on the Thursday, but have in the past few years transferred it to the Sunday following so that more people get to see it.               We lay a bed of evergreen foliage around stencils for the various aspects of the design about two or three days in advance, but the petals are always laid from 6 a.m. on the Sunday morning!!  Flowers are donated by members of the congregation and we will use everything somewhere!!!  I don’t know how many parishes to this but it is always a great occasion at All Saints.’

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