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Stourbridge churches gear up for open weekend
8:00am Monday 9th September 2013 in News
TOURS and events will be running at a host of town churches this weekend as part of the Heritage Open Days scheme and a regional Festival of Churches.
One of the oldest buildings in Stourbridge will be among those showing off their hidden architectural treasures free of charge on Saturday September 14 and Sunday September 15.
Stourbridge Quaker Meeting House in Scotts Road will be opening its doors from 11am and 3pm on both days.
Visitors can take a peek inside the historic building - believed to be the town’s oldest building still used for its original purpose.
Stourbridge Quakers built the venue in 1689 - the first year they could do so without breaking the law - following an era of religious persecution.
Visitors are also invited to enjoy the Meeting House garden and attend the Sunday worship meeting from 10am to 11am.
Refreshments will be available on both days, organised as part of English Heritage’s open day scheme; and on Sunday at 3pm there will be a talk by one of the borough’s conservation officers, Jayne Pilkington.
John Lampen, from Stourbridge Quakers, said Quakers may have old-fashioned image but he stressed “they are a small and dynamic body at the forefront of work for world peace, prison reform, human rights, and many other important modern issues”.
He added: “The unique Quaker way of worship has something special to offer those seeking for spiritual experience but unwilling to sign up to a particular creed.”
St Thomas’s Church in Market Street, Stourbridge, is also throwing open its doors as part of the Heritage Open Days scheme and the Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Shropshire Festival of Churches.
The Georgian church will be open from 10am to 4pm on Saturday and from 11am to 4pm on Sunday and visitors are invited to admire the listed building’s stained glass and plaster ceiling and learn about its history.
Refreshments will also be available.
The church hall, next door, will also be opening its doors on the Saturday to people seeking spiritiual refreshment.
Visitors can drop in for tea/coffee and biscuits and a chat with members of the parish ministry team.
Books, cakes and jewellery will be on sale.
Admission to both events is free.
St John’s United Reform Church in Stourbridge is also taking part in the Festival of Churches open weekend.
There will be facepainting, live music, an exhibition by Stourbridge experimental artist Cal, organ recitals, poetry, painting and dance displays, stalls, refreshments and guided tours of the listed church based off St John’s Road (ring road) plus entertainment from community radio station 102.5 The ‘Bridge which has its studio based in the church.
Visitors can drop in between 6.30pm and 9pm on Friday September 13, between 10am and 4pm on Saturday September 14 or between midday and 4pm on Sunday September 15.
Christ Church in Lye High Street will also be holding an open day and exhibition on Saturday September 14 from 10.30am to 4pm.
And St Mary’s Church in Rectory Road, Oldswinford, will be holding a day to remember town benefactors Ernest and Mary Stevens on the same day - open from 10am to noon and from 2.30pm to 4pm, including talks by historian Roy Peacock at 11am and 3pm.
For full details of events check out websites - heritageopendays.org.uk and festivalofchurches.co.uk
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