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Art set to bring people into church

PUBLISHED: 18:43 08 April 2009 | UPDATED: 15:10 07 July 2010

PEOPLE who seldom cross the threshold of Mattishall parish church will be encouraged to do so next month when the team there takes part in the Art Alive in Churches project.

PEOPLE who seldom cross the threshold of Mattishall parish church will be encouraged to do so next month when the team there takes part in the Art Alive in Churches project.

All Saints' is one of 24 churches, plus Norwich Cathedral, involved in the 2009 project, a collaboration between the Norwich Church of England Diocese and Norfolk County Council.

Art Alive in Churches will run over the bank holiday weekend of May 23-25. Churches taking part have been divided into different, sometimes interlinking, trails marked out on a London Underground-style map, and people who go along to them by car, bike, on foot or even by boat will be able to discover more about crafts and skills ranging from writing and painting to spinning, stone-carving and gold and silversmithing, as well as enjoying their architecture and history.

At Mattishall, the displays and demonstrations planned will include the work of basket-maker Sandra Barker, but the overriding hope is that local people will discover more about what goes on at All Saints', and not just on Sundays.

Last year, the church team at last won approval for its long-held dream to

re-order the interior, remove some of the fixed pews, put up staging, carpet floors, provide comfier interlocking wooden chairs and install better heating, with a view to opening it up to more family activities, performances and exhibitions as well as religious worship.

And Jackie Clay, who is organising Mattishall's Art Alive efforts, said: “We really want to try to encourage the whole village to come in and have a look. We want to open up the church to the community, to have people come across the doorstep who don't normally do so, so that we can show them that this is a very warm and friendly church.”

Refreshments will be served, and the church hopes to involve pupils at the village primary school over the three days.

At neighbouring All Saints' Church at Welborne - a church already familiar to many because of the part it plays in the village's arts festivals - the plan is to celebrate spinning and weaving.

Other churches in the Times circulation area taking part in Art Alive in Churches, and the crafts highlighted, include:

St Mary's, East Bradenham (stained glass design).

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, West Barsham (painting).

St Giles's, Houghton St Giles (needlework).

St Peter's, Great Walsingham (woodworking).

Art Alive maps are now available at many churches, or you can contact Jennie Hawks on 01379 677843; email jennie.hawks@norwich.anglican.org

To get involved at All Saints', Mattishall, during the event contact Jackie via the church office on 01362 858873; email asmchurch@tiscali.co.uk

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