Life & light to triumph over darkness in Radstock

On Saturday 31 October, community arts project, DNA Arts will transform the church yard at St Nicholas Church, Radstock into a beautiful, atmospheric “fire garden” as part of Light the Night, an outdoor community arts event and parade.

In the run up to the event, children and parents have been taking part in a series of lantern making and drama workshops.  Working alongside professionals, children are designing and making the lanterns that will form the showpiece parade and atmospheric fire garden in St. Nicholas’ churchyard.

All are welcome to join in with the parade. Members of the public are asked to assemble at Whisty Hall at 6.15pm for a 6.40pm start. Susan Hill School of Dance and Cirque Bijou’s Illuminated Umbrella project will lead the parade through Radstock, using pavements and pedestrian crossings. At St Nicholas church, the parade will be greeted by an ensemble of acoustic musicians including a guitarist, choir and pianist who will set the ambient, atmospheric mood of the evening.

Chloe Edgell from DNA Arts says, “Light the Night was created to bring a unique and exciting alternative to the usual activities on 31st October. Working with local musicians, choirs, the Desperate Men and Natural Theatre companies, alongside our internationally renowned pyrotechnical company And Now, we will create a magical, outdoor firelight event that celebrates the tradition of All Hallows Eve and reflects the history of Radstock.”

Revd Chris North, Rural Dean of Midsomer Norton Deanery, of which St Nicholas Church is a part, said, “Hundreds are expected to participate in the lantern parade to St. Nicholas church where more lanterns and candles will light up the space. Across the world the lighting of candles is used as a form of prayer. It is also a sign of love and hope in a fragile and fractured world. As the name suggests Light the Night is a community arts event that celebrates light overpowering darkness.”

Ardeacon of Bath, Andy Piggott adds,

“All Hallow’s Eve with All Saints Day on 1 November is a time in the Christian calendar when we may confront our fear of death and darkness then celebrate that death is not the end; that we do not become ghosts but spend eternity with Jesus, the light of the world. Hundreds of churches up and down the country are organising light festivals, parties and special services.”

“The DNA Arts Light the Night event is planned as a real celebration of light, life and the local community. We encourage local people to join in and to dress in bright colours to reflect this.”

“At on-site meetings with the organisers, we have been given assurances that the fire garden element of the event, where people will walk reflectively through the churchyard and an avenue of trees bathed in light from candle pots and hurricane lamps, will respect the very special environment in which it is being held and we have stipulated particular areas which will not form part of the walk.   There will also be church members on hand to answer questions about All Hallow’s Eve and Christianity, which many will be unaware of.  The fact that the fire garden will be situated in the churchyard will, we hope, help people make those links and ask those questions.”

Light the Night is being produced by DNA Arts, a community arts project commissioned by Bath and North East Somerset Council to encourage innovative, collaborative and inclusive arts programmes in the area. The event is a collaboration between the local church, community and DNA Arts.

Those participating or attending the event can post pictures and comments to social media using DNA Arts #Light the Night and/or the Church of England’s #LoveLight hashtags.

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