SCORES of visitors packed into Quinton Methodist Church for its first flower festival in five years, raising £500 for a support group for children with Down syndrome.

The theme of the two-day event was Blessings and featured 21 arrangements created by individuals and groups based at the church from the ramblers to the line dance club, with contributions also from Carters Lane Baptists and Quinton Parish Church.

More than 150 people turned out to the the festival last Friday and Saturday and the proceeds - along with a further £300 already raised - will go to the Halesowen-based Ups and Downs support group.

Organiser Mary Barker said the festival was "very successful" and added praise to the girls' brigade who worked hard serving refreshments.

The church hopes to give thousands of pounds to Ups and Downs as its project for the next 12 months, with a range of events including the annual arts festival, which raises about £6,000, and a pledge by the boys' brigade to raise £2,000.

The church has donated £13,000 from the last 12 months of fundraising to the Kenyan Children's Project.