Long-standing arts festival expands events

Long-standing festival exhibitor Loraine Matten
Long-standing festival exhibitor Loraine Matten

OPERA and poetry events are included in this year’s Arts and Crafts Festival at Shoreham Methodist Church.

The annual festival opens at the Brunswick Road church on Saturday for the 45th year. It will be launched at 10.30am by Major Tom Wye, patron of St Barnabas House, which is one of the many charities to benefit from profits in previous years.

The Rev Andrew Reed will conduct a decication service on Sunday at 10.30am and the festival will continue until Thursday, August 21.

Margaret Bedwell, from the organising committee, said: “Many of the exhibitors have been coming for many years, one of which is Loraine Matten, who will be displaying her attractive handmade beaded jewellery.

“There will be a great variety of other stalls, including knitted and textile goods, greetings cards, glass mosaics and other jewellery stalls.”

Charity stalls are also included and this year, the festival will feature opera and poetry, with retiring collections at both events. At 1pm on Saturday, there will be a concert of songs and arias by bass baritone Franz Hepburn, and on Tuesday at 11.30am, the Rainbow Poets will present a reading featuring the work of William Morris.

Mrs Bedwell said: “Much has changed in Shoreham since Molly Harvey, a well-known local artist, held the first festival 44 years ago but the quality and range of the exhibits remains as high as ever. Visitors will be assured of a warm welcome at the church.”

The exhibition will be open 10am to 5.30pm daily, except Sunday (12pm-4pm).