14th May, 2021

Historic Stoke Prior church's annual Christmas tree festival gets under way

WITH work well under way on the renovation of the historic Stoke Prior Church, the venue is hosting its annual Christmas Tree Festival.

The socially distanced event began on Saturday and runs until January 3 with the church open between 10am and 4pm every Saturday and Sunday so visitors can view the trees. The church is Covid-secure and light refreshments are available.

Everyone is welcome, entrance is free but donations are welcome for the ‘contingency’ fund in case the work restoring the beautiful building to its former glory costs more than expected.

The Friends of St Michael and All Angels continue to work tirelessly for the cause.

The church was built in the 12th century and the building has links to Salt King John Corbett who had it renovated in the 19th century.

Project manager Gary Stokes wants to thank everyone who has helped the church in any way on its journey that has culminated in renovation work starting.

He said: “This has only been possible because of the many personal donations that have been made, including the support of local businesses, charities, trusts and foundations.

“The project team is so grateful of all the help and support it has received, including grants from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Bromsgrove District Council.”

One of the businesses is Running Beanz, launched by villager Claire Edwards who struck up a partnership with the church.

Between now and the end of January, people joining her scheme can walk, jog or run a 5K route of their choice at their own pace and in their own time.

All of the profits from the entry fees will go to the church funds, as well as participants improving their own mental and physical health in the process.

When they have completed the 5k, they are presented with a medal for their accomplishment and for their support for the church.

Email Claire at runningbeanz@hotmail.com or call her on 07807 029556 for more information.

Catherine Stokes, Chair of the Friends, said: “Our hope is to bring a little joy and light into lives of all who visit us.

“St Michael and All Angels will be warm, welcoming and above all a place to leave outside the world we are all having to cope with in these troubled times.”

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