A NEW group has been formed to save a church where music star Polly Harvey recorded an award-winning album.

Miss Harvey’s album, the Mercury-winningLet England Shake ‘Let England Shake’, which had a war theme and was inspired by various conflicts, from Gallipoli to Afghanistan, was recorded at St Peter’s Church in Eype.

The group will be holding a launch party following a service in the church at 6pm on Sunday June 1 called the ‘Big Sing’ where the congregation will be singing eight popular hymns.

The party, which starts at 7pm in the church, will announce the launch of The Friends of St Peter’s.

Chapel warden Janet Allen said: “This is to introduce locals and visitors, of all faiths or none, to the church building, and inform them of where we are, and discuss ideas of where we would like to be in the future. Everyone’s views will be heard and noted, discussed and if viable, followed up on.”

Following articles in the press about the possible closure of St. Peter’s and meetings in the church around Christmas and New Year, about 50 people signed up to express their opposition to its closure.

They pledged their support for keeping the church going as both a space for church services and events, and also the venue for the Eype Centre for the Arts which hosts exhibitions and other arts events in the summer.

Ideas flowed in, and Janet Allen was appointed as the new Chapel Warden at the annual meeting of the Parochial Church Council.

Mrs Allen said: “The church has seen a big sort out inside and following a well-supported spring-clean just after Easter, is looking bright, fresh and sparkling again, with a renewed air of vibrancy.”

The Arts Director of the Eype Centre for the Arts, Mark Culme-Seymour, wants to retire. Mrs Allen said a few people were keen to help, but the job could be split into different roles, with a team of about six people all working together.

She said: “If anyone has any talents they could offer, such as arts contacts, website maintenance, bookkeeping, publicity, marketing, database management, etc, please contact me.”

Contact Janet on 01308 814480 or janet@staffordlodge.com