HUNDREDS of residents enjoyed a colourful and informative community event.
The biennial St Mary’s Summer Festival in Ponteland included an exhibition of art in the church hall, along with showcases of work from Ponteland Photographic Society and the Embroiderers Guild.
They were influenced by the theme of the four-day celebration – the Lindisfarne Gospels – and the sacred text inspired many of the flowers that were on display in St Mary’s Church.
Stands with information about it were put up in the vicarage garden marquee and church hall and people could also see and read material from Ponteland Local History Society, Richard Coates Middle School and St Mary’s Brownies.
There were a few concerts, including a performance from the Jubilee Big Band on the green outside the church on the Saturday evening, and some special activities for children. Reverend Peter Barham, Vicar of Ponteland, said: “It was a superb festival. We had a very good turnout from the public and it helped that there were lots of things for them to enjoy.
“The weather on the Thursday, Friday and Saturday was as lovely as we could have hoped for.
“The artwork in the church hall received high praise and the flowers were described as stunning. Everyone present enjoyed the excellent services on the Sunday and the highlight for many of us was when one of our congregation, Professor Richard Bailey, read the Anglo-Saxon translation of the Lindisfarne Gospels text at the start of John’s Gospel.
“He made the interesting point that there was a Saxon church in Ponteland, so the passage would have been read in exactly the same way by a priest in the village more than 1,000 years ago.
“Local residents enjoy coming along to the various displays and events and their support for the festival is very much appreciated.”
The event raised about £4,000 in total and the money will be divided evenly between the RNLI, West End Refugee Service and improvements to the church hall.