At long last Ashford in Kent, the growth town of the area, has a major brand new arts centre which on the other hand is hundreds of years old! Nearly £2 million has been spent upgrading the St Mary the Virgin Parish Church in the centre of Ashford and at the same time the building has been remodelled with the addition of ground source heat pumps, under floor heating, more and modern toilets, kitchen and bar area and state of the art lighting and concert standard sound systems. The new venue includes a stage and dressing rooms. It will seat over 300 people on comfortable seats in the main area and even more in the wooden galleries if necessary.
St Mary’s is still a working Parish Church but at the touch of a few buttons and with the help of screens and chairs it quickly converts into a great arts venue for concerts, dances, exhibitions and much more. The vicar call it his “sacred space, shared space” and wants to see it used as much as possible. A separate charitable company, St Mary’s Arts Trust, will be running the venue and promoting its own Revelation St Mary’s series of concerts with a strong folk influence.
For more info see: Revelation St Mary's