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Stourbridge churches to hold a day of celebrations
4:00pm Monday 2nd September 2013 in News
CHURCHES in Stourbridge will be throwing open their doors on Saturday September 14 for a day of historical celebrations.
Christ Church in Lye will be celebrating its 200th anniversary with an open day running from 10.30am to 4pm.
While St Mary’s Church in Oldswinford will be remembering Stourbridge’s greatest benefactors Ernest and Mary Stevens through a series of events running throughout the day.
Roy Peacock, lay minister at St Mary's, said: “Quite a few churches are putting on events on Saturday September 14 for a Festival of Churches celebration and some are combining the event with English Heritage Weekend as we are.”
Christ Church’s Lye History Day will mark the church’s milestone birthday by hosting tours of the historic building, showing how it has changed over the years and offering visitors chance to see parts not normally open to the public.
There will also be a photo exhibition and refreshments and a booklet has been produced about the history of the High Street church and will be launched at 3pm.
At St Mary’s in Rectory Road, Oldswinford, there will be an exhibition, talk and visit to the benevolent couple’s final resting place.
The exhibition will be open from 10am to noon and from 2.30pm to 4pm.
A 30-minute talk by historian and author Roy Peacock will take place at 11am and 3pm and visits to the grave will follow at 11.30am and 3.30pm.
History fans have organised the event to celebrate the generosity of Ernest Stevens, known as the ‘bucket king’ as his company made pots, pans, bins and buckets, who left four estates to be turned into public parks in Stourbridge, Wollescote, Quarry Bank and Elmley Castle in memory of his wife Mary and their eldest son Victor.
The old Mary Stevens maternity hospital was also set up in 1932 thanks to a donation from the Black Country businessman who made many other gifts to churches, chapels, sports grounds, war memorials and charities in the area.
Today’s Mary Stevens Hospice and the Mary Stevens Centre in Oldswinford also take inspiration from Mrs Stevens who died in 1925 - some 32 years before Mr Stevens passed away in 1957.
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