medieval banquet in Wilmslow July 2015

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undefinedGreat fun was had by all who attended a Medieval Banquet at St Bartholomew's Wilmslow earlier this month (July). The interior of the church was transformed into an authentic medieval hall for one evening only (St Bart's is in fact a medieval building).

Due to major reordering work in 2013 the church is now a flexible space, much like it would have have been in the Middle Ages - with the building used as community forum, market place and worship space.

The medieval banquet was organised by church manager Flo Knowles and a team of helpers. Many attended in period costume. There were three reasons for the banquet being held – to mark the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, to come together as a parish community for a fun event, and to raise money for the restoration of St Bart’s pipe organ (more than £900 was raised).

Guests enjoyed an aperitif of mead, sat on straw bales, then ate typical food of yesteryear, including roast pork, indigenous fruit, nuts, local cheeses and  desserts such as lemon posset and apple pie. In an authentic touch, just one salt cellar sat in front of the ‘Baron’ (Rector the Revd Dr Paul Smith) with guests having to ask him if they wanted some salt – this being a precious commodity of the time.

Entertainment was provided by the official court jester of Warwick Castle – Monty - who juggled, ate fire and entertained the children. Music was provided by a local band Maranella from Kelsall who coordinated three medieval dances and told stories.

Among the costumes worn were some stunning creations, including three made by local seamstress Louise Pipping. Jesters, pointed hats, and 'monks' formed part of the diverse gathering.

The Revd Magdalen Smith, Associate Priest and ‘Baroness’ on the day, said: “It was brilliant to see the church full of life and laughter and to work with such a flexible space”.

By midnight, due to the work of a dedicated group of volunteers the church was ‘back to normal’ for a wedding the following day.

Pictured above - members of the Maranella medieval music group, performing outside the St Bart's

Below - parishioners outside the church. Rector Paul Smith is among them, dressed as a medieval baron