19th Nov, 2017

180 visitors flocked to Bromsgrove's historic St John's Church for Heritage Open Day

AROUND 180 visitors flocked to Bromsgrove’s historic St John’s Church on Saturday as part of Heritage Open Day.

After braving the rain 120 of them climbed the 107 steps up the spiral staircase to take in the magnificent views from the top of the tower.

Most people there were local but there was one from Germany, one from France and two who, from Bromsgrove School, had arrived from Hong Kong earlier this month.

St John’s Bellringers were on hand to show the ropes and let visitors have a go at ringing the bells and inside the church local artist Brenda Henderson was working on some new stained glass pieces and demonstrating the techniques to curious visitors.

Local historian and author of the book about the church ‘Fairly Mounted on a Hill’ Simon Henderson conducted two tours of the church entitled ‘Hidden Spaces’ revealing intriguing facts about the building both inside and out.

Visitors were able to buy bulbs to plant in the memorial garden, view displays about the local quarries and stones which made up the church and other buildings in Worcestershire and hear from the Orchestra of St John (OSJ) about up coming performances. Some even tried their hand at organ playing with the OSJ’s Steve Cowperthwaite.

The Bromsgrove Society also had a presence on the day and Chairman Pat Tansell played a large part in organising it.

The Selfie Snap Photobooth was put up in church and photographs from that are available to view on Instagram at @SelfieSnapBromsgrove

Homemade cakes were on sale along with tea and coffee, visitors participated in the ‘Ride and Stride’ charity event and were able to shelter in the church during the short, sharp storm.

Friends of St John’s Chairman Jo Slade said “We love to welcome people to St John’s, to show off our wonderful heritage building and to climb the tower and get a birds eye view of the town is a real treat.

“I am very grateful to the 30 people who volunteered their time and skills to make this Open Day a huge success.”

Rev Ray Khan added it was a fantastic day.

“It was wonderful to have the church full, see children playing the organ and large groups fascinated by the stories, to learn the intricate techniques of making stained glass and to enjoy fabulous home made cakes.

“Thanks to all who helped and came to St John’s on Saturday.”

Residents can follow the Friends of St John’s on Facebook – @FriendsStJohnsBromsgrove or Twitter – @FriendsStJohns

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