Maggie Weavill Art Exhibition, St Andrews Church

Lots of work was put in by St. Andrew's Church to advertise this event - see here the tickets issued, and posters and flyers which made sure the whole thing was a great success. There was a real buzz about the Friday evening event, in particular, but the coffee morning and lunches were fantastic too! Beautiful food courtesy of Stephen and his wife!

A huge thank you to everyone involved at the church - particularly Derek, Graeme and Stephen - who helped this turn out so well.

Rev Derek Newton offered me this opportunity to talk about the experience of my first solo art exhibition, held, of course, at St. Andrew's Church. So much to say - so many thoughts, but I'll try and distill them into a paragraph or two! What did I expect? That I would hang some pictures (an honour in itself), talk to a few people...that it would be interesting, but low-key and, yes, a milestone of sorts, but that the big event of my summer would be my exhibition at Crook Hall in Durham in August/September. Wrong. All wrong.

This event, for me, went far beyond my expectations! The Church itself - beautiful - a huge and inspiring hanging space. The huge interest, the friendliness and dedicated efforts of the whole church to make this event work...where shall I start? Thank you so much to Graeme and Derek , for all their efforts with tickets, posters, flyers and the whole workload of publicity, as well as actually mounting the paintings. Also to Stephen, for cleaning cobwebs off the church windows and producing that memorable lunch! And to so many people for their involvement in snacks, drinks, selling cards...and who knows what else. Then there was the beautiful exhibition of quilting and, of course, Derek's fascinating table of 'scrap art'. Derek, of course, commissioned the 'Spirit of Pentecost' series of paintings which culminated with the central image displayed on the easel by the altar. And this, for me, became the theme and most significant image of the event, as that spirit was evident throughout the week: outreach to people who might not normally come to a church, a sense of community reaching out and involving all.The smiles, the conversation, the sense of fellowship and enjoyment.

For me, this exhibition became about so much more than the pictures. Family. Old friends. New friends. the genuine good spirit throughout. For me, this has become The Event Of The Summer, has genuinely touched me, and will stay with me as one of my best-ever memories. And no, I'm not exaggerating. And for that I'm very grateful.

Thank you again, all who helped mount, and who attended the exhibition, and, of course, to those who actually bought some of my work! A great outcome.

All best wishes, Margaret Weavill.