Palm Sunday is approaching fast and, for congregations across the UK, that raises the strong possibility of their palms arriving for distribution from Liverpool company Hayes and Finch.
The Aintree-based firm, purveyors to the church since 1882, initially as candle-makers but now for a wide range of ecclesiastical supplies, imports some 20,000 specially cultivated palms from Spain every year. And as the church calendar turns through Lent towards Palm Sunday and the commemoration of Jesus's triumphal entry into Jerusalem, so the clock ticks down on a strict four-week palm delivery procedure at Hayes and Finch.
On their arrival at the company, the branches – each one measuring approximately 20 foot in length and still in a raw state, cut straight from the palm tree – undergo a series of processes including sorting, chopping and stripping to create a selection of finished products, including display branches and batches of single palm leaves. Given the time-sensitive nature of the operation and the strict delivery schedules for churches throughout the UK and Ireland, the company employs additional workers during this period to facilitate a successful operation.
Hayes and Finch palm manager James Finch says: "We have approximately four weeks from time of delivery to process, pack and dispatch the palm to ensure it reaches our customers in good time for Palm Sunday." James has been overseeing these proceedings for over 15 years, even visiting the plantations to make sure the cultivation of the palm meets the company's high standards.
A full range of products from Hayes and Finch, which prides itself on being one of the finest manufacturers and suppliers of church furnishings, can be found here: www.hfltd.com