Flowers, films and some circus skills

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A POPULAR Ponteland event once again has plenty to offer.

The Summer Festival – which runs from this Saturday to Saturday, August 6 with a preview evening on Friday – has a number of attractions both inside and outside St Mary’s Church and its Church Hall.

The Flower Festival in the church building will have as its theme the King James Bible and Northumbrian artists will display their work in the hall.

There will also be a local history exhibition in the Vicarage marquee, featuring a national display on the King James Bible plus material from Ponteland Local History Society and Richard Coates Middle School.

Ponteland Library is part of the proceedings this year for two special events and refreshments will be available in the hall marquee.

Evening attractions include three concerts in church.

The Reverend Peter Barham, Vicar of Ponteland, said: “Ponteland’s biennial Summer Festival has built up a good reputation over the last three decades and as ever there will be plenty to look at, read and enjoy.

“The village has a wonderful buzz, lots of locals are involved and visitors come from all around.

“It is a pleasure welcoming so many people into our beautiful church. Eight full days, special services, concerts – even railway films and circus skills. There is never a dull moment.”

Admission to everything, apart from most of the evening events, is free, although those attending will be asked to make donations.

Proceeds will be divided between three charities – Church Army, the church’s Organ Cleaning Fund and Newcastle Children’s Hospital Charity.

Event programme

Friday – 7.30pm: Private view of the pictures and opening by Peter Cowey, Mayor of Ponteland. Tickets, £7, includes a glass of wine and a finger buffet. Telephone 01661 824938 to book.

Saturday – 10am to 5.30pm: Flower Festival in church, History in the Vicarage marquee, Northumbrian Artists of Today in the church hall; 7.30pm: Concert by the Bailiffgate Singers, directed by Hannah Barham. Tickets £5 to include a glass of wine.

Sunday – 8am: Holy Communion in St Mary’s; 10am: Festival Eucharist in St Mary’s, the preacher is Dr Deb Rooke from the University of Oxford; 2pm to 5.30pm: Flower Festival in church, History in the Vicarage marquee, Northumbrian Artists of Today in the church Hall; 6.30pm: Songs of Praise in St Mary’s, this is a united service for Ponteland churches and the Newcastle West Deanery.

Monday – 10am to 5.30pm: Flower Festival in church, History in the Vicarage marquee, Northumbrian Artists of Today in the church hall; 2.15 pm: ‘The Story of St Mary’s’ guided tour; 7.30 pm: Railway Films in St Mary’s ‘John Betjeman, John Piper and Northumberland’. Admission free.

Tuesday – 10am to 5.30pm: Flower Festival in church, History in the Vicarage marquee, Northumbrian Artists of Today in the church hall; 2.15 pm: ‘The Story of St Mary’s’ guided tour.

Wednesday – 10am: Holy Communion in St Mary’s, President is The Rt Revd Frank White, Assistant Bishop of Newcastle; 10am to 5.30pm: Northumbrian Artists of Today in the church hall and History in the Vicarage marquee, Flower Festival opens at 10.45am; 2.15 pm: ‘The Story of St Mary’s’ guided tour; 3pm to 4pm: Jane Lewis plays light music in the marquee to accompany afternoon tea; 7.30pm: Concert by Alison Shiel (soprano) and Katherine White (piano). Tickets £5 to include a glass of wine.

Thursday, August 4 – 10am to 5.30pm: Flower Festival in church, History in the Vicarage marquee, Northumbrian Artists of Today in the church hall; 2.15pm: ‘The Story of St Mary’s’ guided tour; 7.30pm: Author event, ‘Monkey Business in a Medieval Abbey’ by archaeologist Barry Mead. Tickets £2 from Ponteland Library on 01661 823594.

Friday, August 5 – 10am to 5.30pm: Flower Festival in church, History in the Vicarage marquee, Northumbrian Artists of Today in the church hall; 7.30 pm: Organ recital by Shaun Turnbull. Tickets £5 to include a glass of wine.

Saturday, August 6 – 10am to 5.30pm: Flower Festival in church, History in the Vicarage marquee, Northumbrian Artists of Today in the church hall and plant sale in the church hall garden; 3.30pm: the Grand Festival Raffle will be drawn.