Tuesday January 19 2021



In Full . . .


Posted on September 29 2015 at 10:52:57

On a September Saturday evening in 1997, as the warmth of the sunny afternoon was replaced by an early autumn chill, hundreds of villagers gathered in Withybed Green, Alvechurch.

Many of them had been to the Craft and Produce show at the Middle School during the afternoon and most of the children had been entertained by magicians and a Punch & Judy show in the Village Hall in the morning.

Now they were lighting candles in the lanterns they had been making at workshops over the previous few weekends, ready to walk in procession through the village behind a drumming band and wonderful, giant paper sculptures of animal shapes held aloft on poles.

As people started walking, they were moved by something very special and many of them commented on it: they felt the same community spirit that has brought people together for thousands of years. It is a very human thing and it adds greatly to the lives of those it touches.

Alvechurch Alight! returned to bring the community together for the following nine years, growing, as the last organising committee chairwoman described it, “like Topsy”.

As everyone knows, it grew too big for a band of volunteers to hold together and 2006 saw the lanterns go out for the last time.

But now we hope it will return next year, and how fantastic for the people of Alvechurch, a lot of whom have come to live in the area in the intervening years, bringing their young children and producing more since they got here.

They, and the generation who have been lucky enough to stay living in the parish to raise their own families, are the ones who will benefit the most.

And it is they who the volunteers staging next year’s event are hoping will “shadow” them, to create a legacy that can be passed on, and on.

We hear life is more hectic and pressurised for today’s younger parents, with everyone out working to pay alarmingly large mortgages or high rents, but this really is a cause to which it is worth dedicating some of your precious hours.

Anyone interested in shadowing the committee over the next year to carry on Alvechurch Alight! for years to come can find out more by calling Matt McVeigh on 07834 725616.

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