PREPARATIONS are under way to celebrate the 150th anniversary of an historic parish church in Crowton.

Christ Church will be 150 years’ old next year and village residents are planning a major programme of events and fundraising activities to mark the special occasion.

The Victorian church, which opened in 1871, has already been re-decorated in preparation and there are plans to install new pew cushions and improve the sound system.

Church organisers have also commissioned Chester textile artist Sandra Christie to work with the local community to produce a new decorative collage, inspired by the hymn All Things Bright and Beautiful.

The year of celebrations starts tomorrow, Sunday, with an online commemorative service and will be followed by numerous Christmas festivities and a host of events during 2021.

Activities already earmarked include a pub quiz night, exhibitions, summer fete, gardens open day, school fashion show and a harvest supper.

There will also be a choral concert by the William Byrd Singers, an Allo Allo evening with Kingsley Players, and performance of a new play Alice’s Quest for Wonderland: Down the Rabbit Hole with Lewis Carroll by local award-winning playwright Lynn Pegler.

The new Bishop of Chester Mark Tanner will be guest of honour at a special harvest festival on Sunday 3 October 2021.

Dr Anne Davidson Lund, licensed lay reader and vice chair of Crowton Parochial Church Council, said: “Christ Church has been home to a faithful worshipping community in the Church of England for 150 years and we hope to see it continue to fulfil that role for at least another 150.

“As times change there is always a need to review, refurbish and refresh the fabric of the building, to ensure its future safety and suitability. The 150th anniversary offers a great opportunity to update the church interior and celebrate the ministry of the church in Crowton, strengthen relationships within the local community and welcome new visitors.

“It is challenging trying to organise events in the middle of a global pandemic - we are hoping for the best but prepared too to postpone, re-shape or move online as necessary.  We step forward in trust and hope!”