A new arts festival featuring some well-known names will be coming to St Peter’s Cowleigh in Malvern this June.

St Peter’s has long had an association with the arts and for the last few years has been running its own printmaking group using some beautiful antique printing presses. Last year, with the appointment of its new Vicar, The Revd Phillip Johnson, the Parish began to further develop this link and is restyling itself as a dedicated ‘Arts Church’ with a festival running from Friday 14 to Sunday 23 June.

The arts festival will feature some big names including Duke Special, Brian Bilston and the Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy performing – alongside some local acts and arts workshops. It will be possible thanks to generous grants from Malvern Town Council, local councillors and some grant making trusts. All will be welcome.

Mr Andrew Judd, Churchwarden at St Peter’s and a local Arts teacher and artist said: “The festival is a realisation of my vision of a church that uses the arts to engage with the local community and to express our faith. St Peter’s provides as intimate and atmospheric setting in which artists love to perform and the festival will be a very special occasion. Alongside the performances we are building an exciting community of artists, musicians and performers who use the space as an inspiration and particularly love the opportunity to really engage with an audience.”

The Vicar, The Revd Phillip Johnson (who originally trained as an Actor and worked as a theatre director) said: “In the short time I’ve been here, I’ve been able to help the parish develop St Peter’s as an Arts Church and use some of my skills (and contacts) to help put together an inspiring week of events. I’m very grateful to the generosity and hard work of all those who have enabled the arts festival to happen and I’m looking forward to continuing to build up our skills and resources to create something really exciting at St Peter’s. Together we hope to establish a beautiful arts venue that speaks of the creativity of God.”

More information is available on the Arts Church website – www.sparc.church and tickets are on sale now.