RESIDENTS in Somerset have decorated churches and village halls across the Blackdown Hills for Easter.

Reverend Deborah Perreau, a community mission priest from the Blackdown Benefice, shared an idea across villages, asking people to crochet, knit and carve wild flowers to display in villages.

"Over lockdown, people caught onto the idea and their creations have been displayed on railings around churches and by village halls - and they are absolutely stunning," she said.

"Many people are saying this has allowed them to be connected to one another when we can't actually meet in person."

There are now displays in Churchinford, Churchstanton, Pitminster, Corfe, Ashill and Combe St Nicholas.

Yeovil Express: Corfe Church

Yeovil Express: Corfe Church

Sue Helliker, who started the crochet idea in Combe St Nicholas, has made around 800 creations for the displays, along with her friend Janet Gage who has made around 1,000.

Altogether, the ladies in Combe St Nicholas have made nearly 3,000 crochet flowers, butterflies, ladybirds or leaves.

Sue also made masks during the last lockdown, but after sales fell, she decided she needed another project.

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"The project has brought the community together, given idle hands something useful to do after lockdown ," she said.

Yeovil Express: Janet Gage and Sue Helliker at the Parish Church of St Nicholas, Combe St Nicholas

"The idea was to have the displays ready for Easter, to reinforce to everybody that now is a time for new beginnings.

"I am not religious, but at times like this you need to have something to hang on to.

"All the ladies who have done the crocheting and knitting have been down to the village to find their flowers and bumblebees.

"And once we can, I will invite all the ladies to afternoon tea so we can meet each other – we have never met.

"My husband cut, waterproofed and painted the wood to display the creations on. And the vicar in Combe kept the church open and at the back of the church there was a box for people to donate, as well as wool people could take to make more.

"It has been a real community effort."

Yeovil Express: Combe St Nicholas Methodist Church

After Easter, Sue is hoping to give displays to the village hall, the school and the wild play area. She is then hoping to sell the others to raise money for the Parent and Friends Association (PFA) at the local school.

Sue and her team have named themselves the 'Combe Yarn Bombers' and plan to do some more displays when there is another opportunity.

Yeovil Express: Corfe Church

Yeovil Express: Corfe Church

Yeovil Express: Corfe Church

Yeovil Express: Sue Helliker and Janet Gage at the Parish Church of St Nicholas, Combe St Nicholas