Church Art

by Michael Ford last modified 18 Jun, 2019 03:25 PM

One Dorset church has made sure they make the best use of their building by opening up as an Arts Centre.

Outside of services, St Peter’s Church, Eype, near Bridport at the top of the hill overlooking the sea, transforms into the Eype Centre for Arts and offers a venue for concerts, exhibitions and private events during the months April to October each year.

Janet Allen, ECA Arts Administrator and Chapel Warden said:

"Churches have historically played an important, sometimes crucial, role in the development of the arts. Through the financial support the Eype Centre for the Arts gives to the local Parish in helping to keep the building open we try to encourage a greater use of the church which also holds services every Sunday, generally at 6.30pm.

"The 2002-2003 transformation of the Victorian Church into a versatile space takes the building back to what churches were traditionally used for; a local meeting place, a village hall, a community centre as well as a haven for prayer. The success of introducing an arts centre demonstrates what can be done to save threatened church buildings.

"More than a decade ago an annual art exhibition was started during September under the banner of ‘Artists of the Jurassic Coast’. This exhibition by local artists who concentrate on works inspired by the spectacular coastal scenes and topography has become a very popular event attracting up to 1,000 visitors each year, many of whom have never had the opportunity to see the interior of St Peter’s. The exhibition enables artists to show their work to a wide cross-section of the public."

Typical events held here include everything from musical concerts and recordings to visual arts exhibitions and theatre. The centre also holds parties, filming and even wedding receptions.

The Arts Centre will be home to the 2019 Biennial Exhibition by the Eype Schoolroom Quilters takes place in the church over the weekend of 22 and 23 June (10.30-5pm) and on Wednesday 17 July the church will welcome Laudemus, who are singing Choral Evensong with us at 6.30pm.

They will be in the middle of a week of visiting Dorset country churches.

There will be an art exhibition with Caz Scott and Rita Brown in the church at the same time.

For further information, look at the website www.eypechurcharts.co.uk.

Contact: please call Janet Allen on 01308 814480, 07747 033433, or email .

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