SCOUTS from across Bolton gathered to celebrate St George’s Day at Bolton Parish Church.

The event, which featured a flag parade followed by a church service, was attended by nine scout groups and two explorer scout units from Bolton North and East.

It was held to celebrate St George, the patron saint of scouting.

From beavers as young as six to scouts aged over 18, the event attracted a wide range of volunteers.

Prior to the service, the Union Flag, St George’s flag, the World Scout flag and various group flags were displayed around the church, which then formed a guard of honour for the Mayor and Mayoress of Bolton.

During the service, young people were presented with Chief Scout awards highlighting their achievements, while volunteer leaders were thanked for their support to young people.

David Bootland, Acting District Commissioner for Bolton East, said: “It’s been a fantastic atmosphere — the sun was out and everyone has enjoyed themselves.

“It’s very important to teach children about St George and to encourage a sense of patriotism, because it’s a dying art in today’s society.

“National pride is the focal point of what we stand for.”

Mr Bootland added: “It makes me very proud to present Chief Scout Awards to our young people.

“They are not easily achieved.” One of the groups to attend the event was The 8th Bolton East St James’ Breightmet Scout Group.

Colin Carr, leader of the group, said: “Scouting is about giving these children experiences of something they wouldn’t normally do.

“You can see how much this means to the children and volunteers.”

Gavin Carr, aged 10, from Little Lever, is a cub scout in the group and carried one of its flags into the church.

He said: “I really enjoyed the day and I always look forward to celebrating St George’s Day. It’s a spectacular privilege to go out and carry the flag and show how proud I am to be in the Scouts.”

Samuel Anderson, aged eight, from Breightmet, a beaver scout, added: “It is a great day and it’s important to remember St George.”

Bolton South with Farnworth beaver scouts unit hosted its own St George’s Day parade.

Volunteers marched from The Cenotaph in Farnworth Park to St John’s Church in Church Street.