Exmouth's Glenorchy Church celebrates new look with festival fortnight

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By ExeCellent | Tuesday, September 04, 2012, 16:42

EXMOUTH'S GLENORCHY United Reformed Church is holding a fortnight's festival of flowers, music, film and art to celebrate its new and "welcoming" look. The festival – from Saturday 8 September to Sunday 23 September – follows the completion of an eight-month £250,000 refurbishment programme…

The Exeter Road church – now with a new glass-fronted entrance and other improvements "designed to welcome the community" – will host a range of events during the fortnight, including classical and folk music concerts, an art exhibition, a film evening, a flower festival and a harvest thanksgiving.

"This is an exciting time for us," says Glenorchy Church minister Reverend Robert Jennings. "The fortnight Festival is our way of inviting lots of people to share our delight at having the renovated buildings. Our new glass-fronted entrance is designed to remove the barrier that solid doors and steep steps created in the minds of passers-by, making the whole building feel much more welcoming. We've also renovated Glenorchy Hall and other rooms to an acceptable standard for the 21st century.

"We'd like members of the community to come in and see what has been going on at the Glenorchy since January. Our church will indeed reflect its motto: 'Within these walls let no-one be a stranger'."

Festival in detail

The Festival begins on Saturday 8 September at 2.30pm with a ticketed re-opening celebration. Rung in by Exmouth Town Crier Roger Bourgein, the event will be hosted by the church's minister the Reverend Robert Jennings, with contributions from the Synod Moderator Revd David Grosch-Miller and Exmouth Mayor John Humphreys. A plaque will be unveiled to mark the occasion.

The celebrations continue on Sunday 9 September with Family Worship at 10.30am, led by the Rev Robert Jennings and Laurence Moore, director of URC Windermere Centre. The Glenorchy Art Group will stage its annual exhibition from Tuesday 11 September to Sunday 16 September. Opening hours are 10am-8pm (11 September), 10am-4pm (12-15 September) and 2pm-4pm (16 September).

On Wednesday 12 September, Choir '97 – a mixed choir based in East Devon – will perform a concert at 7.30pm. Jayne Hannah (flute) is the featured soloist. Tickets are £6 on the door, with proceeds going to Exmouth's Open Door Centre.

Two events are lined up for Friday 14 September. At 12 noon the Venezuelan Duo Teresa Carreño – comprising Ana Laura Manero (piano) and Arturo Serna (cello) – will give a lunchtime recital (invited donation £5 per person). And at 7pm there's a film evening, with a screening of the 1951 MGM musical "Singin' In The Rain", starring Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and Donald O'Connor.

On Saturday 15 March, folk singer-songwriter Martin John Nicholls will perform a concert at 7.30pm (invited donation £5 per person). On Sunday 16 March at 10.30am there's Family Worship with the Rev Graham Wise.

The Renaissance Ladies Choir – who specialize in close-harmony "barber-shop" material – perform a concert, supported by pianist Tim Othen, on Tuesday 18 September at 7.30pm (invited donation £5 per person).

The Glenorchy Flower Festival runs from Thursday 20 September to Sunday 23 September. A one-off free entry event to mark the church's re-opening, there will be displays from local businesses and groups, as well as an artwork display by the children of Exeter Road Community Primary School. Light lunches and afternoon teas will be served during the event. Opening hours are 10am-8pm (20 September) and 10am-4pm (21-23 September).

The Festival will finish with a Harvest Thanksgiving on Sunday 23 September (10.30am) and Songs of Praise, followed by a Harvest Supper (5pm).


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