Church piece is at the art of community celebration

Bob Young with his glass model of St Mary's Church, Easington.
Bob Young with his glass model of St Mary's Church, Easington.
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A community project had a light bulb moment when it brought together scores of talented artists as a grand finale to its summer programme of events.

The activities programme has run in Easington Colliery and Easington Village during the season, putting on events including a family fun day, an Alice in Wonderland-inspired event, day trips and creative sessions inspired by nature.

St Mary's Church, Easington.

St Mary's Church, Easington.

To finish off the celebrations, an exhibition of artwork created by residents and groups from the area was put on show at Seaton Holme, in Hall Walk, Easington Village.

Pieces made by the art group run by Age Concern in Easington Colliery - which is always open to new members - and items made by children were shown.

Among the star displays was a model version of St Mary’s the Virgin Church made by Bob Young, who used glass, copper foil and light to form a stained-glass miniature of the chapel, which is said to date back to the 12th Century.

It will go on permanent show inside the church as it helps to educate its visitors about its past.

It is amazing and definitely something that should be celebrated.

Councillor Angela Surtees

Bob said: “I started attending copper foiling workshops in Age Concern in Easington Colliery and was making flat pieces of glass art and wondered if I could take it further to complete a 3D model. 
“St Mary’s is a beautiful stone work church and I went up and drew some sketches of the church and its features and this is the result.

“I am surprised how it turned out, it is better than I ever expected it to be.

“I am overjoyed and honoured that my glass church has found a home in the actual church of St Mary’s.”

Durham County Councillor Angela Surtees helped bring together the pieces on show.

Artists with their work on display at Eastington's Seaton Holme.

Artists with their work on display at Eastington's Seaton Holme.

She said: “When I was told that someone had made a replica of St Mary’s Church out of glass I couldn’t visualise it.

“It is so detailed and almost a carbon copy of the real thing.

“It is amazing and definitely something that should be celebrated.

“I believe Bob has gifted his creation to the Church and they are honoured that he has chosen to gift his church to them.

St Mary's Church, Easington.

St Mary's Church, Easington.

“There are a number of local people who attend art classes and workshops in both Easington Colliery and Easington Village.

“The work which has been on display is wonderful and this has been an excellent opportunity for others to come and see how talented our local residents are.”

The summer programme was brought together by Easington Colliery Regeneration Partnership working with partners put on a six week series of activities.

These were mainly funded by Councillor Surtees and fellow ward member David Boyes from their Neighbourhood Budget.

Partners involved have included the East Durham Area Action Partnership, both Easington Village and Easington Colliery Parish Councils, Wellbeing for Life and Healthworks, The Barn@Easington, CAFE Together, Churches, Easington Social Welfare Centre, Easington Colliery Brass Band, SAFC Foundation of Light, Creative Youth Opportunities and JD Creations.

Bob Young with his glass model of St Mary's Church, Easington.

Bob Young with his glass model of St Mary's Church, Easington.