Monday, May 26, 2008

Filling the Pews

We live in the Parish of Berriew, in the heart of old Montgomeryshire. Only those of you who have visited the village will know just how lovely it is. The dominant architectural feature of the village is the magnificent St Beuno's Church. This weekend the pews have been filled with the sound of people, as they appreciated over 106 paintings by local artists.

I'm not sure who to congratulate on the excellent idea to hold the 'Art in the Pews' exhibition. Top of the list must surely be the Venerable John Thelwell, the Archdeacon, who recently featured on this blog when our little granddaughter tugged his beard when she was being christened. And also Michael D Allen, a Berriew artist whom I forgive constantly for his enthusiastic support of Plaid Cymru. And there are dozens of others who sell programmes, make teas, etc.. Over the last few months we've been to several events which are introducing inventive ways to re-connect Churches with communities. Earlier this month, I was listening to Penybontfawr Male Voice in Llansan(t)ffraid Church with a glass of wine on the hymn book shelf. This weekend the Parish of Berriew hosted one of the best I've seen.

Spent a fair time wondering what to buy. I always leave this to Mrs D now. My confidence has never returned since the time she rang me from an auction and asked my advice about paying between £3000/£4000 for a Kyffin Williams oil - when I advised that we couldn't afford it. Advice doesn't come much worse than that. Almost as bad as Gordon Brown's decision to sell all of our gold at a rock bottom price. There were some quality stuff on display and I really liked the work of Llewelyn Cummings from Meifod, some screen printing by Richard Oke from Llanfair Caereinion and the local landscapes of Dorothy R Scrivener. Mrs D was tempted by one of Michael Allen 'constructions' using hand made paper and Himalayan leaves, and a local Berriew scene by Andrew Logan, perhaps Berriew's most famous resident. After much deliberation we went for the Andrew Logan, because we liked it and because it may have some investment potential. If the Church is going to be entrepreneurial, why should we not follow its teaching.

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