Hacheston church was well-known for many years as the centre of the Hacheston Rose Festival. The Festival was the brain-child of Helen Brookes who noticed that Notcutts cut the roses from the rose bushes growing in their fields to allow the bushes to develop more strongly ready for sale. Hacheston church was in desperate need of funds to repair the mediaeval church building and gained permission for church volunteers to cut some of the roses from the bushes in a way that could be used to decorate the church. Local Flower Clubs were invited to undertake the arrangement of the roses in the church, while Notcutts kindly allowed their land to be used for parking and for a Craft Marquee. They also opened their rose fields for visitors to inspect the roses (including new varieties being developed ready for Chelsea, at which Notcutts gained many Gold Medals) in the years when the rose fields were at Hacheston. The Hacheston Rose Festival was held from 1985 until 2007 (with a break in the years 1987-89). Proceeds were divided between Hacheston church, Hacheston Village Hall, and Notcutt's chosen charity, the Retinoblastoma Society. During this period, many thousands of people visited the church to see the roses and related attractions (including evening concerts and talks in the church), and thousands of pounds were raised for the three beneficiaries.
After 2007, and following changes to practices in the horticultural industry, the roses were sadly no longer available. In response to this, the annual event became The Hacheston Flower Festival which was held from 2008 - 2016. This again used local Flower Clubs to decorate the church and supported Hacheston church and Hacheston Village Hall.
From 2016, emphasis has switched to smaller-scale and a wider variety of events that reflect the changing mood in how families choose to spend their leisure time; see the Events page on our website for details of forthcoming events.
For further details on the Rose and Flower Festivals, including a list of the Flower Clubs who supported the Rose Festival, and a Gallery of photographs, follow this link to the Rose Festival website.