Arts festival goes ahead in Banburyshire village this weekend in spite of ongoing Covid restrictions

An arts festival goes ahead in Chipping Warden this weekend in spite of ongoing Covid restrictions.

Stunning floral displays will be presented at this weekend's Church Festival in Chipping Warden
Stunning floral displays will be presented at this weekend's Church Festival in Chipping Warden

The festival was originally arranged as a celebratory party to welcome the end of lockdown. But organisers have rejigged the event and, with existing guidelines in place, have been given the green light to go ahead.

Well known local artists are contributing to the festival which covers a variety of subjects and media in the beautiful setting of historic St Peter's and St Paul's Church.

The artists showing their work include Hazel Stagg, Sandra Cross and Maureen Smith from Chipping Warden. Also exhibiting work are Freya Ureta and Rosy Burke, members of King Sutton Art Club, as well as Pamela Harper of Middleton Cheney who lived for many years in Chipping Warden.

The allotment holders always produce a themed display for the Chipping Warden Church Festival

Also exhibiting will be Judy Davies - well known for her charming watercolours of the local area - who previously lived at Edgcote where her husband Peter was farm manager to the Courage family.

Oil, acrylic, watercolour pastels are all used in a variety of land and seascapes, still life, abstracts, floral and animal canvases, with over 50 artworks to enjoy. There will be the opportunity to buy art works at affordable prices. However there will be no card payment service available as the church does not have enough internet connection.

Floral displays at the festival are being arranged by local organisations with wonderful contributions of extra flowers from village gardens. Windows and tabletops will show displays by the allotment holders, Women's Institute, Village Hall, Brownies, Mothers Union, Church Choir, Chipping Warden Primary Academy and also the Kindergarten - and filling the porch on behalf of the congregation.

Music featured in the festival covers a variety of styles with local guitarist and vocalist Angie Carr performing her selection of Irish music, Chris James on clarinet and sax solo and also accompanied by Renee Watt, v ocalist and guitarist with a sixties selection. Both performers are from Wappenham.

Some beautiful roses, pictured at the last festival at the church

Gary and musical partner from Hinton near Woodford will play a session of Summer Jazz.

The Brownies are walking down to church from their meeting in the village hall with their flowers and will also entertain with a song on Friday evening. A long time favourite of Chipping Warden, appearing on Sunday, is Harriet Woodford. Now married with a baby son and living in Brackley, she was a regular star in Barbara Bartlett's Church Players' annual pantomime and is well known in the village.

This time she will be accompanied by her musical partner, Jason. At other times Brenda Hewison and Michael Beckett will play a variety of organ music. One of the organisers' biggest coups is that the church's new Rector, Rev Mike Chesher, is also a talented guitar and vocalist and will perform some pieces.

The festival takes place on Friday from 6pm - 8pm, on Saturday from 11am - 4pm and on Sunday from 11am - 4pm with an admission charge of £5. Children enter free. Wine and soft drinks will be included in the ticket price.

There will be flowers on every surface at St Peter's and St Paul's Church, Chipping Warden this weekend

Proceeds will be devoted to church funds. St Peter and St Paul is in the top 100 finest churches in Northamptonshire and in its own right well worth a visit.