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Saturday, 19 April 2014

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Cumbrian church’s history sewn up in new tapestries

Friends of a 400-year-old Cumbrian church have history all sewn up with tapestries to chart the building’s journey through the ages.

Arthuret church photo
Rector Russell Tague and Christine Batey who dedicated months of work to the production of the tapestries

Longtown’s Arthuret Church – also known as St Michael and All Angels Church – is one of the oldest in the Diocese of Carlisle.

The tapestries are the latest in a year-long programme of 400th anniversary celebration events and were mounted on the church walls on Saturday when a special blessing was carried out.

Tapestry co-ordinator Christine Batey, of Oakshaw Hill, Longtown, said: “There are four tapestries now hanging on the wall of the church which have been made by about 40 friends of the church and other local people.

“About 40 people were involved and it has taken about 18 months to complete so it was quite a task to co-ordinate them all.”

Mrs Batey added: “I am really pleased with the way it has turned out, it has surpassed my expectations. The tapestries will hang in the church for years to come and I hope they will be admired by my grandchildren when they grow up.”

The Church of England church is led by The Rev Russell Tague and the Most Reverend Dr Idris Jones Primus.

It is now part of the benefice of three churches, St Michael and all Angels, Longtown; St Andrew, Kirkandrews-on-Esk; and St Nicholas, Nicholforest.

Between them they cover an area from the Scottish border to north of Carlisle.

The building, which dates back to 1609, has a long and important history which started with James VI of Scotland and the unruly Border Reivers.

The people of Longtown are marking the anniversary with a long programme of events, which started last November.

A flower show is planned for the summer. The theme will be the thistle and the rose to mark the ancient cross border connections of the church.

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