Garden party to be held at Ickworth House to raise funds for Ickworth Church
This year marks the fifth anniversary of the £1.2 million restoration of a medieval church in the grounds of Ickworth House.
And to mark the occasion plans are being drawn up for a glittering event to help raise funds to keep the Grade II listed St Mary’s Church open and preserve its fabric and artefacts.
The Ickworth Church Summer Garden party is taking place on Friday, June 22, in the gardens of the estate and is being organised by a team from the Ickworth Church Conservation Trust (ICCT) and headed up by the Marquess of Bristol, Frederick Hervey.
He is being supported by members of the trust including Simon Pott, a trustee of the ICCT, and John Porter, church co-ordinator and fundraiser.
Tickets for the event are due to go on sale on April 1 and will cost between £25 and £30 and already organised are canapes, prepared and served by students from the West Suffolk College, and a grand auction which includes a Nethergate Wines tasting event for 12 people and dinner for two at the Beehive pub in nearby Horringer.
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Other prizes are still being organised, including a balloon ride, but it is hoped at least 10 items will be part of the auction.
Lord Bristol said: “The event is important for me as we have nearly 600 years of burials of my family here in the church.
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“I think it should be a celebration of the church and all the people that have been involved. I view churches as kind of living things as past, present and future, the kind of flow of people who have gone through it with people getting christened and married to make it a happy occasion.
“We are completely self funded with no hand outs so donations are important. We want to raise as much as possible but it’s not just about money it’s about the people as well.”
The estate is now run by the National Trust and Mr Pott added: “The National Trust are being very helpful and we are grateful to them. We need to make sure we have a fund to do work for the future and that we have something to celebrate.
“There has been a lot of people involved and our volunteers have been wonderful all led by John … it’s been astonishing.”