Church celebrates sacred text visit

Views of Ponteland.'St Mary's Church
Views of Ponteland.'St Mary's Church
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PONTELAND will play its part in a project to build upon the interest generated by the north east visit of one of England’s most sacred manuscripts this summer.

Created by Inspired North East, Spirit in Stone – the Lindisfarne Legacy will be based around eight groups of historic churches in the region, including St Mary’s in Ponteland.

This church will be involved by making the Lindisfarne Gospels the theme of its summer festival between July 25 and 28.

It includes an art exhibition in the Church Hall on Thornhill Road, featuring pull-up display banners, and a history exhibition that will also look at the development of Christianity in the county.

The Gospels will also be the theme for the flowers displayed in the church and a facsimile of the illuminated text will be available to view.

Reverend Peter Barham, Vicar of Ponteland, said: “It will be enjoyable to see the Lindisfarne Gospels in Durham, but it’s good that we’re doing much more across the region and here in Ponteland this summer to celebrate our Christian heritage.

“We want to make sure that the Gospels don’t go back to London in October without having a tangible effect.

“Hopefully, people from across the Ponteland parish and beyond will come and enjoy the events and attractions at our summer festival.”

More than 40 churches will be involved with the project in some capacity and activities will include interactive art and performance-based events for children and for older people, lively heritage and story-telling workshops, training for ‘welcomers’ and heritage guides, development of several local heritage trails, exhibition materials, practical advice and resources and information for visitors.

Most of the £43,700 cost has been met by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Andrew Duff, Inspired North East Development Officer, said: “We are thrilled to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund because Spirit in Stone will help many people – children as well as older people – to take a fresh look at this region’s remarkable Christian cultural heritage and become more actively involved in enjoying their own local pages of this big region-wide story.

“It’s a story that can be traced back to the influence of the Lindisfarne Gospels, early saints, heroes, artists and others down the centuries, and it continues to unfold today.”

For more information about the project, visit http://spiritinstone.info