September 29th, 2016

Midsummer ball and poetry night in a bid to save historic Bromsgrove church from closure

TWO EVENTS are being held in the coming weeks in a bid to raise funds to help secure the long-term future of one of Bromsgrove’s oldest churches.

A total of £150,000 is needed to return St Michael and All Angels Church in Stoke Prior, to its former glory.

The 12th century landmark building, which also has links to Salt King John Corbett, has fallen into a state of disrepair and without the cash there is a good chance that, after more than 800 years, it may have to close.

It needs a variety of work doing to it, particularly to the tower which has become dangerous.

A crowdfunding appeal was launched in mid-December and so far already £13,000 has been raised.

At 7pm on June 24, residents are urged to get their dress or lounge suits or posh frocks for a Midsummer Ball in the church.

Those who go along will be able to dance into the night to 1960s band Taylor and Co and enjoy a hot buffet supper and a licensed bar which will be serving until midnight.

There will also be a raffle and charity auction with a number of top prizes, including a caravan holiday in cornwall.

Tickets, which are £32.50, are available from Gary Stokes on 07846 561370 or John Ellis on 07504 127668.

And tomorrow (Saturday) there is a fund-raising event at the church between 5.30pm and 7pm being hosted by Birmingham City University’s staff and students. Everyone is welcome to the fun and informal one-day only event which will feature published poets and new writers performing classics alongside their own works with the beautiful church providing an ornate backdrop to the words spoken. Admission is free but those who go along are urged to make a donation to the cause.

Olivia Hodgson, from Birmingham City University, said it promised to be a lovely evening.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to help preserve a building which has survived so many periods in English history and support the promotion of new poetry outside of a university setting and, to anyone new to the area, an opportunity to visit the village of Stoke Prior and the surrounding Worcestershire countryside.

“Any donations made to save the church tower would be greatly appreciated by St Michael and All Angels – all money will go towards the preservation of the tower,” she added.

Please search ‘Stoke Prior Church Tower Fund’ on Facebook to find out more or donate at crowdfunding.justgiving.com/gary-stokes – the appeal’s JustGiving page.

Cheques can be made out to the Stoke Prior Tower Restoration and sent to Gary Stokes, 15 Bredon Road, Bromsgrove Worcestershire, B61 7HD.

Wyn, Gary and ‘Friends of the Tower’ will also be there on the day to welcome and thank people for their support.

The surrounding area is also a nature reserve for flowers and wildlife and the priest in charge there Wyn Beynon would also like to see more social events taking place at the church’s idyllic setting.

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