Christ Church Oxton Arts Festival 2012

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Poet Ieuan Cilgwri More than 400 people attended an arts festival hosted by Christ Church, Oxton Village, Birkenhead, over the weekend of 13 to 15 July. Organised by the parish on the theme of "celebrating and encouraging creativity" it featured poetry readings among other attractions at the Bessborough Road church.

Local poet Ieuan Cilgwri (a member of nearby Bidston parish) is pictured performing his poem ‘Broadly Speaking, a Revised Republic’ – a political and cultural critique of contemporary British life.

There was also live poetry from several other Wirral local poets, including Sally Hughes, Tim Kingham, and Michelle Wright, and from Liverpool-based poet Eleanor Rees.

Michelle also comperèd the poetry session, which had an open floor section featuring poems from six members of the audience, including a very amusing one from local resident June (pictured below) about the frustrations of modern living.

Over the weekend there was also: music from local blues and blues and rock'n'roll band Orange Zebra, which had people up dancing; an exhibition of paintings and photography; and a creativity zone where visitors could engage with animation , screen printing. mono-printing , water colours, drawing, flower arranging, quilting and encaustic (burning in colours) art.

Paul Broadhurst – our Diocesan Advisory Committee Secretary and Christ Church’s resident organist – played two organ recitals, and there was a Dickens penny reading and a Wilfred Owen spectacle.

The arts festival raised money for Claire House hospice and Help for Heroes - the charity which supports wounded armed forces personnel.

Donations were still not fully counted when this news story was written, but it was clear that more than £200 had been raised.

The event was organised by Christ Church Reader Allan Goode and local artist and parishioner Marie Mairs, with support from other members of the parish.

Allan Goode said: “It was a very enjoyable festival, and a great showcase for local talent. We hoped to encourage people to be creative and I think we succeeded!”