Vital piece of Christian history inspires festival

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A POPULAR biennial event in Ponteland is celebrating the return of one of England’s most sacred texts to the North East.

The St Mary’s Summer Festival, which this year will run for four days, is based on the Lindisfarne Gospels and they have inspired many of the flowers that will be on display in St Mary’s Church.

Information stands, with images, about them can be seen in the church hall and vicarage garden marquee, along with material from Ponteland Local History Society, Richard Coates Middle School and St Mary’s Brownies, and a facsimile of the illuminated manuscript will be available to view.

Also in St Mary’s Church Hall, there will be an exhibition by 12 artists from the Network of Northumberland Artists, with paintings on sale, and displays from Ponteland Photographic Society and the Embroiderers Guild.

Admission to these attractions is free. They will be open between 10am and 5pm on Thursday, July 25, Friday, July 26, and Saturday, July 27 and from noon to 5pm on Sunday July 28. There will be a few concerts and activities for children as well (a couple of these will require paying for tickets).

Reverend Peter Barham, Vicar of Ponteland, said: “Those who come along can expect a stunning quality of flowers in the church, a good amount of information about the Lindisfarne Gospels in the garden and an excellent art exhibition in the church hall, where volunteers will be serving some tasty refreshments.”

The event will raise money for the RNLI and West End Refugee Service and to refurbish the church hall.

For more information, call 01661 824470.