Alston’s Summer of Creativity
Over the summer St Augustine’s Church, Alston has been host to the Alston Aspire creative community pilot project.
The aim has been to explore interest and feasibility of wider community use of the church space. One of the last of the season’s events was a one day Food Festival featuring local suppliers. A 6 minute video of the Food Festival on YouTube features a sizzling close-up of some king-sized sausages, and ends with an interview with Pat Godwin, one of the event organisers: www.youtube.com/watch?v=abIH-aYsj7g.
Whilst the church has continued its role as an active place of worship, the two month project has attracted over 2,500 visitors to events ranging from art exhibitions, jumble sale and beetle drive to poetry readings and workshops, music from jazz and silver band to opera, and a Freegle day when food and plants were freely given and taken!
St Augustine’s is very grateful for Pat Godwin and Alix Martin’s sterling project management, plus the enthusiasm and practical efforts of local volunteers, and for financial support from PICA, the North Pennines AONB Sustainable Development Fund, Eden District Council and Cumbria County Council. Inspired North East has provided advisory support.
The project will now be evaluated to see how the church might be further adapted to accommodate wider community use. Meanwhile, people are already offering suggestions for further events next year.
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