ON SHOW: Alan and Heather Coustick with their works of art and craft they will be exhibiting
ON SHOW: Alan and Heather Coustick with their works of art and craft they will be exhibiting

BARNARD Castle Methodist Church is to commemorate its 125th anniversary with a celebration of worship and talents in the form of a music, art and craft festival.

Events get underway on Friday, June 7, with the opening of the festival by town mayor Cllr John Blissett at 10am, followed by a performance by Teesdale School pupils.

Barnard Castle School students will perform at 1pm.

An all-age children’s art workshop kicks off Saturday’s events at 10am. At the same time Barnard Castle Community Band will be performing at the church.

Liz Oliver is to provide a lace-making demonstration at 2pm, followed at 2.30pm with a talk by former curator of The Bowes Museum Elizabeth Conran about the life of missionary George Brown.

A performance by musician Josie Pollard will end the day's activities at 3pm.

Sunday’s activities start with worship led by Revd Bev Hollings at 10.30am followed with fellowship at 11.30am. The festival closes at 4pm.

A significant feature of the festival is an exhibition of art and craft created by members of the congregation.

Among those who will be exhibiting pieces are retired minister Revd Alan Coustick and his wife Heather.

Mr Coustick said several people will be displaying art with some of the crafts including patchwork quilting, embroidery and knitting.

He added: “There is quite a bit on the textile side. It will be exciting to discover what people’s talents are. We know some people paint but there could be anything that might surprise.”

Mr Coustick, a member of Barnard Castle and Teesdale Art Society, will display three works featuring different Methodist venues in the town, including the former chapel at the Hole-in-the-Wall, the Broadgates chapel and the current church.

His wife, a prolific patch-work quilter, is also displaying three patchwork wall hangings.

She said: “I have made a lot of quilts but I ran out of people to make them for.”

One of the wall hangings, which featured in the Great North Quilt Show, is on the theme of global warming while another is a celebration of “influential women who have challenged, encouraged and inspired”.

Her final piece is a more traditional patchwork with complex blocks. Mrs Coustick said: “I did go to classes and I had a very tutor who encouraged me to try different, more challenging blocks. I love the effects of the triangles coming round to make the stars.”

The exhibition of the congregation’s talents will be held inside the Methodist Church throughout the three-day festival.