Welcome to the ‘Revelation’ arts programme, a series of quality events to boost the borough’s arts offer and celebrate the completed refurbishment of one of Ashford’s best loved historical landmarks – St Mary the Virgin Church. For many years, St Mary’s has functioned both as a place of worship in the town centre and a community arts venue, hosting performances and exhibitions each year from local and international artists.With funding froom Ashford Borough Council, Arts Council England and Kent County Council, The Trust in partnership with the PCC aims to establish a centre of excellence for the arts where Ashford’s growing community can come together and experience high quality performance andexhibition.We hope you will enjoy our first season and the many Revelations to come!
The trust’s aims
• The Church to be a focal point for arts in Ashford, where people actively choose to enjoy and experience high quality arts. Where carefully programmed arts opportunities are sought, catering both to a national arts-attending public and local residents.
•St Mary’s to entertain and inspire audiences by offering a varied programme of top quality arts activities across different art forms. We want to encourage audiences to try new experiences and value the pleasures of sharing live performance, without needing to travel beyond their own town. We want to attract those who currently do not attend arts events by carefully chosen product, outreach work and marketing
• St Mary’s to encourage professional development, by ensuring exciting opportunities exist to support practitioners, where they can develop diverse artistic skills. We want to help create a thriving professional creative sector, and be part of a strong local arts network that supports economic development and creates a confident and go-ahead amateur arts sector.
• St Mary’s to engage young people and local communities by developing arts projects that give them the opportunity to be creative and work together. This will build individual self-confidence and contribute to a sense of community. We want to break down the current barriers to involvement, whether economic, physical, or cultural beliefs that the arts are "not for me", by a co-ordinated approach which embraces all art forms as equally valuable.
• St Mary’s artistic activity to help provide the social "glue" that can bring people from across the age and social spectrum together in shared, creative activities, where diversity will be valued.
• St Mary’s to support Ashford Town Centre as a viable visitor destination, impacting positively on the night time economy and connecting with the town’s commutability.
The capital works, commissioned by the PCC and project managed by Ashford Borough Council, has created an upgraded, well-appointed, flexible multi-use space that includes the following features:
• A flexible auditorium space in the nave of the church, with improved sightlines, increased seating capacity and with the capability of being reconfigured to host small and large-scale events for up to 350 people.
• Improved dias and staging facilities, including provision of suitable, high quality lighting, sound and projection systems.
• A space for arrival and circulation of audiences and the church congregation through reconfiguring the present foyer.
• Additional toilets, kitchen and bar facilities proportionate with the new capacity and functions of the venue, and with the expectations of paying audiences.
• ‘Backstage’ washing and dressing room facilities suitable for professional performers and clergy alike.
• Flexible office and meeting room spaces.
• Upgraded heating and lighting systems creating a comfortable and quality showing space.
Venue Disabled Access info
Each disabled customer can apply for one complimentary ticket per booking in order to bring an access assistant or companion with them free of charge.
Accessibility and facilities:
Wheelchair users – accessible toilets, and specific wheelchair positions, Note: contact in advance of the performance to arrange access pre-doors times, see contact us page.
Hearing Impaired – Have RADIO FREQUENCY System installed
Company registration number: 07760504
Place of registration: United Kingdom
Registered office: The College, Churchyard, Ashford, Kent TN23 1QG
Registered Charity No 1144945