Amongst the works of art and craft in Chadkirk Chapel is a banner with the well known William Blake quote embroidered. Whether you see the world in terms of subjects on the curriculum – economics, politics, sociology, ecology, history, law – or in terms of connection to landscape and community, a Friends of Chadkirk meeting is likely to tick all those boxes, cover many of the bases. If your grain of sand is Chadkirk, there’s plenty to interest an active mind. Plenty going on.
At the first meeting of the year there were discussions about many aspects of the Country Park and estate, the Chapel and the Walled Gardens, social events in the near future and plans for the medium to long term. An interesting mix.
We looked at issues horticultural (how to get our fruit trees pruned and the grazing animals in the meadow), structural (footpath renovations planned) and economic. In one sense the economic aspects affect much of the activity of the Country Park. While the members of this Friends group, as with the other 50 friends groups in Stockport, give their time and skills freely, there are always things that have a price to be considered. For now we are in the fortunate position of having raised enough funds to be able to pay outside experts to prune the fruit trees or rebuild pathways. And 2016 will see the usual range of fund raising activities down at Chadkirk to top up the pot up from time to time.
This range of activities and events will broadly follow our usual pattern, the usual calendar. Broadly. With one obvious exception. This year, there’ll be a change to the pattern of activities at the end of July.
For over a decade, the last weekend has become a regular date in many people’s diaries for the Chadkirk Festival. 2016 will be different. Usually the Chadkirk Festival is made possible, in part, by cooperation between Stockport council – people, stalls, communications, expertise – and volunteers from the Friends of Chadkirk. However 2016 sees the re-opening of the recently renovated Bramall Hall. The last weekend in July is when this event will take place.
As a result things will be different this year down at Chadkirk.
Currently we are looking at our plans. It looks as if the Well Dressing will be able to go ahead at that time. So the usual days in the week for making the decorations for St Chad’s Well and then, during the last weekend in July there will be a Well Dressing dedication. Date and time to be decided.
It might be possible to add other activities to this Well Dressing weekend in July. However it is looking increasingly likely that the 20th Chadkirk Festival will not be in 2016, but in 2017.
Other dates for your diary will be published here when decisions are made and information becomes available.
In the meantime, the Friends of Chadkirk will meet for the AGM on Thursday 3rd March in Chadkirk Chapel at 7-30pm.
Before then we would welcome ideas from visitors about the year ahead. Whatever your interests, there’s something of interest at Chadkirk.