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Artists in brush with church aid

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: May 15, 2014

The Rev Arthur Hack outside 12th-century Blore Church, near Ilam.

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SEVEN local artists are supporting a village church's fund-raising art festival.

St Bartholomew's, in Blore, a grade-one listed church dating from the 12th century, will host the art exhibition on Saturday. The Hon Johnny Greenhall will open the event at 1pm.

Eileen Turner, Wendy Darker, Diane Kettle, Gail Keep, Roger Sutton, Steve McLoughlin and Alan Simms will be exhibiting their artwork, including paintings, wood carvings and ceramics, with 20% of sales being donated to the church funds.

The Rev Arthur Hack has been the Priest in Charge of Waterfall Benefice, which includes the parish of Blore, for a year, after spending 24 years based at Dovedale House in Ilam. He said: "It's a fantastically generous gesture from the artists to donate 20% of their sales.

"They are all incredibly talented, and last time we held a similar exhibition in 2011 it was very well attended. In fact we raised more than £3,000 then, so we hope to do the same again this year."

St Bartholomew's Church serves ten residents in Blore in a parish of around 120. It holds a weekly service at 11am on Sundays which attracts a small but regular congregation. Mr Hack said: "The church is one of the main focal points in the community and the church council works very closely with the neighbouring population to arrange events that will appeal to everyone.

"The first art exhibition had more than 300 people attend, and once again we are inviting everyone to come along and enjoy the afternoon with us.

"As with many churches of this age, the costs of maintenance and repairs far exceed our annual income, and we are very grateful to everyone involved, especially the artists and the Parochial Church Council who have organised it."

Eileen Turner specialises in painting the native brown hare. Wendy Darker has a passion for painting animals on a white background.

Diane Kettle is working on a range of impressionistic collages with mixed media.

Gail Keep and Roger Sutton are artists in wood and ceramics.

Steve McLoughlin enjoys painting seascapes and Alan Simms works mainly in acrylic.

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