St Peter’s is a beautiful church, which offers a quiet place of peace and reflection a few steps away from the bustle of Shaftesbury High Street. But on Saturday 11th May, this space will be filled with music and dance.
Emma Smith and her colleagues are arranging what could be the first of many entertainment evenings inside St Peters. The church seats will be moved away to form a dance floor for this inaugural supper dance.
Emma is a lay worship leader, which means that she can take services ‘up to a certain point’. And she says that there is no problem with music, dancing and Prosecco inside a place of worship. “It is allowed! Being Christians we enjoy a bit of fun. We enjoy good food and wine. Just right up by the altar is the only place we can’t go,” said Emma.
Emma says that the event serves two purposes. “To raise money and to also show that the church is a place you can go and have some fun,” she explained. “The money is going towards the refurbishment of the church hall, which desperately needs improvements. It is a facility that is used by the whole town. Various groups go there. We have arts exhibitions there and the Fringe Festival, but it does need updating.”
Emma and her colleagues have planned the Saturday night programme in detail. “It starts off with Prosecco and canopies. Then there will be a three-course dinner interspersed with entertainment. And then coffee and Belgian chocolates, which have been donated kindly, and then dancing for anybody who wants to do it.”
“There’s going to be a pate to start with, which is mushroom, lentil and walnut. So it covers most allergies,” said Emma. “There’s a choice of a chicken dish, beef bourguignon or a vegetarian casserole. And then there’s going to be a trio of desserts.”
And the organisers have cleverly addressed the lack of kitchen facilities in the church. “That’s been sorted out by having slow cookers and ingenuity,” smiled Emma.
Emma says that sixty can be seated comfortably for the food and entertainment. The programme includes ballroom and Latin dances performed by the Caron Parry School of Dance. Then David Grierson’s piano playing will accompany singer Olivia Ward.
The evening will also include acoustic sets from Tilly, Nathaniel and Rich, as well as Georgie and Rich, who are all regulars at Father’s House Acoustic Café. American poet Alisha Paez will provide spoken-word entertainment
You can arrange tickets by emailing email@example.com.