Creative arts inspires five-week festival of events at churches across Stour Valley
A series of public events inspired by the creative arts are being hosted across the Stour Valley as part of a five-week festival.
Designed to promote and showcase local talent, the South Stour Churches Festival kicks off with a music concert and church service in Belchamp St Paul on Monday at 7pm.
Among the 15 churches staging events are Foxearth, Pentlow, Bulmer, Lamarsh, Alphamstone, Twinstead, Wickham St Paul and Belchamp St Paul.
Organiser Celia Randall hopes the series of events will encourage visitors to socialise.
“People in villages can become isolated and they’re not all religious or use the church buildings as effectively as they could, so it will bring the community together,” she said, adding that the festival will enable villagers to showcase their work.
“There’s a lot of talented arts and crafts people, particularly those who are retired and have time to indulge in their interests and skills.”
Visitors will have the chance to explore the churches while attending events.
“These churches are some of the most beautiful in East Anglia,” said Mrs Randall.
Youngsters from Belchamp St Paul Primary School will be taking part in a harvest festival and art exhibition, which will centre on the theme of water, while children from Bulmer Primary School will be reciting poetry and performing music inspired by the theme of ‘all around the world’.
A teddy bears’ picnic is being staged at various churches to encourage youngsters to get involved. Teenage musician Flo Davis will be performing a set of ethereal ballads at Lamarsh Church on October 8.
Other events will feature art exhibitions, talks and workshops.
Members of the Belchamp Walter Singers and The Festival Choir will perform popular songs on Market Hill on Thursday from 12.30pm.
For a full list of events, go to www.southstourchurchesfestival.org/events.