Why all the town’s a stage

Macclesfield Express - - WHAT’S ON -

ONE of Barn­aby’s unique fea­tures is the way it uses the town it­self as its stage.


Flick­ing through the Barn­aby brochure you may have no­ticed how many pub­lic spa­ces and quirky nooks and cran­nies are be­ing used as venues, but also how many churches fea­ture.

This year we have events in St Michael’s Church in Mar­ket Place, dis­used Christ Church on Bridge Street, King Ed­ward Street Chapel hid­den away on that road, the United Re­formed Church on Park Green and for this first time the newly ren­o­vated Town­ley Street Chapel tucked away be­hind.

Th­ese churches will host mu­sic of all sorts, cabaret, com­edy, car­toon­ery, vis­ual art, po­lit­i­cal de­bate, talks, work­shops and for the first time spe­cially com­mis­sioned fam­ily theatre.

With so few tra­di­tional venues in the town cen­tre and their lim­ited size, the fes­ti­val can only hap­pen be­cause of the par­tic­i­pa­tion of the churches – all of whose build­ings are listed. The events bring new au­di­ences into th­ese sa­cred, her­itage spa­ces and the fes­ti­val is hugely grate­ful to the churches for gen­er­ously tak­ing what is in some cases quite a bold step – a leap of faith even – to work with us in this way.

The high­light this year will be the trans­for­ma­tion of Christ Church into the se­cret lab­o­ra­tory of an ec­cen­tric sci­en­tist for The Astronomer’s Story – not to be missed!


Barn­aby Fes­ti­val is de­lighted to an­nounce that Jane Munro has agreed to be our Found­ing Pa­tron. Jane was one of the orig­i­nal in­sti­ga­tors of Barn­aby, con­vinced the town needed a fes­ti­val to cel­e­brate its her­itage and creative tal­ents and de­velop a sense of iden­tity.

At the first fes­ti­val in 2010 Jane wanted to bring back a food mar­ket – we called it the Barn­aby Feast.

It’s hard to be­lieve now how dif­fi­cult it was to at­tract pro­duc­ers to take a stall – I re­mem­ber be­ing told by an ar­ti­san baker at a Farm­ers Mar­ket in Bakewell that a sim­i­lar thing in Mac­cles­field would never work!

Hav­ing proved there was a mar­ket for an­other mar­ket, Jane Munro and Deb­bie Quinn – an­other of that first vol­un­teer team – went onto es­tab­lish the hugely suc­cess­ful Treacle mar­ket which takes place on the last Sun­day of the month. One of Barn­aby Fes­ti­val’s best spin-offs!

Jane is still heav­ily in­volved in Barn­aby: don’t miss The Crim­p­lene Her­itage Mu­seum or the Treacle Take-over of The Mac­cles-field on Sun­day, 25 June.

Find out more at barn­abyfes­ti­val.org.uk or pick up a brochure from the li­brary, rail­way sta­tion or vis­i­tor in­for­ma­tion cen­tre.

●» Christ Church will be trans­formed into a se­cret lab­o­ra­tory

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