Lose yourself at Cornard festival

PERCHED on a hill overlooking the Stour Valley is a church whose idyllic setting should bring crowds flocking when it marks the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee with a festival this weekend, writes Barbara Eeles.

But All Saints Church at Little Cornard has one problem. It is so well tucked away in a maze of country lanes that strangers can have trouble tracking it down.

In fact, it has such a reputation for being hard to find that its associate priest has issued a tongue-in-cheek challenge to visitors.

“The festival will be well worth a visit. The challenge is to find it,” says the Rev Tony Moore.

“The church lies two miles east of Sudbury behind a farmyard at the top of a hill.

“From a distance, a good landmark to aim for is the old TV mast, which is on the next hilltop.”

Of course, drivers with sat-navs can cheat by putting in the church’s postcode – CO10 0PE.

But before other visitors start packing a compass, organisers have promised to make it easier by signposting the church clearly from the road between Great Cornard and Bures.

The festival’s theme is Roses for Our Queen – a celebration in flowers and textiles of Her Majesty’s 60 year reign.

It is open from 11am to 4pm on Saturday and Sunday.

There is a large, free car park, refreshments including ploughman’s lunches are available, and there will also be a plant stall.

Proceeds from the festival will go to St Nicholas Hospice Care in Bury St Edmunds.

“We are proud of the fact that although we are a small, scattered parish we are always among the first to pay our diocesan dues, and do quite a lot of fundraising,” said Mr Moore.

All Saints has another claim to fame. The tune for the well-loved hymn Hills of the North, rejoice was composed by Martin Shaw at the church and is called Little Cornard.