Slindon church shows off its proud history

Event organiser Moira Richards and art designer Kate Thorne outside St Mary's church.''C111465-4 Bog Slindon Open

Event organiser Moira Richards and art designer Kate Thorne outside St Mary's church.''C111465-4 Bog Slindon Open

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History was brought to life in Slindon thanks to a special event.

St Mary’s Church became a focal point for a range of activities which took place over the weekend of September 17 and 18.

The St Mary’s open weekend, attracted more than 200 visitors and highlighted the fascinating past of the Grade I listed building.

One of the organisers Moria Richards said: “The event was really good and both people from the village and visitors enjoyed themselves. There was a steady stream of visitor, with some even coming back more than once.

“The talk on Friday evening by Dr Andrew Foster was completely full as where the ones throughout Saturday and Sunday.

“The visits to the bell tower were extremely popular as was the village question and answer session and poetry readings by Slindon poets Gareth Williams and Paul Tinker held on the Sunday.

“The open weekend was very much a village event, rather than a church event. Lots of people were involved both within the church and outside it.”

Lorna Spencer, 56, said: “I often visit Slindon and drive past the church, I have never been in it before, but when I saw they were having an open day I thought I would come and take a look.

“The church certainly has had an interesting past and well done to everyone for putting the event together.

“The displays, and exhibitions were brilliant and the trips up to the bell tower really were something different.”

Billed as a celebration of the church and its people, the event aimed to help visitors explore the history of the medieval building whose residents in the past 900 years have included a 19th century Archbishop of Canterbury, a Battle of Britain flying ace, a renowned poet and England’s first cricketing star.

“I never realised such an interesting and wide variety of people lived in Slindon throughout the years,” said 41-year-old Laurence Nelmes.

The weekend’s events were part of a longer-term programme of events based around the church. Future events include concerts, historical exhibits and other entertainment.