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Easter exhibition

28 March 2014

INSPIRED by the growing number of Christmas-tree festivals, the Vicar of St Thomas's, Hillgate, Stockport, the Revd Andrew Lythall, suggested to members of his congregation that they might hold an Easter-egg festival on the weekend after Easter. They agreed enthusiastically, and are hoping that it will be a great community event.

They have contacted more than 100 other churches, charities, and organisations, the co-ordinator of the Friends of St Thomas's, Derek O'Brien, says, and already have 30 confirmed entries. He hopes that they will have at least 50.

Members of the congregation have already been making eggs ready to supply to groups or organisations who want them. They come in many sizes, and, ingeniously, they are made of balloons covered in papier mâché. He assures me that they are quite sturdy. Already, at a recent communion service, the congregation all signed one, which has since been varnished, and feels quite solid.

The festival is not a fund-raising effort (although donations will be welcome), despite their project to restore the Stockport church and improve its facilities for better community use. St Thomas's was built as the only "Waterloo" church in the Chester diocese, and was both very large and very expensive at the time, but it is now on the "At Risk" register.

Mr O'Brien tells me that it has very fine acoustics, and has been used by a number of groups and choirs for recording purposes through the years. They are currently installing washroom and lavatory facilities as part of their long-term refurbishment programme to make the church more attractive for community use.

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