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CARE & COMMUNITY


Ringing in 150 years


For 150 years, St John the Evangelist Church has been at the centre of village life in Hoylandswaine with the Grade II listed Victorian church having stood the test of time.


To celebrate this special sesquicentennial anniversary, there will be a month of community celebrations this July.


Designed by renowned architect


William Crossland, one of the leading figures of his time, Hoylandswaine’s parish church was consecrated in 1869 to originally accommodate 250 village worshippers. With a simple yet beautiful Victorian interior, the stand-out feature is without doubt the stained- glass East Window designed by Edward Burne-Jones with its unique painted mural reaching to the heavens – named ‘The Ascendancy


of Christ’.


Linked to the Pre-Raphaelite movement, the mural was painted by the well-respected artist, John Roddam Spencer Stanhope of nearby Cannon Hall. John Roddam commissioned his friend and colleague to create the window in memory of his sister Louisa who died in 1867.


Unbelievably, it was painted over in the early 1960s because of water damage through the roof, but, thanks to fundraising efforts from the local community, was successfully uncovered in 2014 by conservationist Francis Downing.


Photo courtesy of Glo Design


In parts, the mural was in good condition, preserved from the elements by the water-based paint that had protected it. The original damp had long since been repaired but the damage in this area was severe. Dr Downing’s task was to conserve, not restore, and to leave a painting that appeared complete and pleasing to the eye.


The 150th festivities will coincide with the Hoylandswaine Village Festival weekend starting Friday 5th July. The church’s bells will be ringing in celebration and a warm welcome will be extended to all, with refreshments, a flower festival, scarecrows and parachute jumps for teddies.


On Sunday 7th July, the Bishop


of Wakefield will dedicate a new altar cloth created by villagers under the guidance of Pam Robins, a distinguished designer and creator of church furnishings.


The following weekend there will be workshops and concerts by Ensemble 360, a professional chamber music group from Sheffield and an art exhibition by the Hoylandswaine Art Classes, curated by Simon Brock and opened by Sarah Hardy, national curator of the de Morgan collection.


In addition to this, there will be talks by a number of experts, an open art workshop and a concert by the Gerrard Sinfonia at Cawthorne Parish Church.


On Sunday 28th July, Elizabeth Charlesworth will give a concert entitled Happy 150th Birthday, featuring music from 1869, followed by Songs of Praise in the evening. To commemorate the day of the consecration on Tuesday 30th July, there will be a performance of a play specially written by John Hislop. It is certain that the occasion will be a joyous and memorable one.


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aroundtownmagazine.co.uk 49


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