Bishop Paul on of the Ten Thousand visiting St Anne's in Bishop Auckland during the food festival. (Picture: Keith Blundy)

More than Ten Thousand people have visited the Holy Feast exhibits at a Bishop Auckland Church as part of the Bishop Auckland Food Festival.

Bishop Auckland Market Place Church St Anne’s in the Diocese of Durham has welcome more than Ten Thousand people for it’s contribution to the 2017 Bishop Auckland Food Festival entitled ‘The Holy Feast’ held over the weekend of the 1st and 2nd of April.

The Revd Eileen Harrop entrepreneurial priest at St Anne’s said: “Food and Feasts have special significance in the experience of Christians. Jesus’ first miracle involved turning water into wine at the wedding feast in Cana. There were many occasions when Jesus drew on the significance of food including feeding of thousands with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish; the fishermen catching an extraordinary net full of fish on Jesus’ direction; Jesus cooking breakfast for his disciples on the beach after his resurrection, and he referred to bread and wine as a memorial of his life at his last meal with disciples.

Bread for Life at Food Festival. Picture: Keith Blundy

“Our Holy Feasts stations comprised of breads and wine, oils, and food displays of Passover and Seder Meals; the Last Supper and Holy Communion; Good Friday and Easter foods.  A stall, ‘Feasts for the Hungry’, featured Fairtrade products for sale and a local Food bank received food for people in crisis. REfUSE – a café from Durham served hot soup and food good from produce that would normally be thrown away. Highlighting the reduction of food waste is consistent with the Christian message of responsible stewardship, and thankfulness for, God’s provision.

“This event also celebrates the community.  We were supported by local producers whom we support in return by encouraging interest in their businesses.”

The festival which has become a major attraction and hot date in the County Durham diary is held annually in the town’s market place and was blessed at the opening by the Rt Revd Paul Butler Bishop of Durham.

Speaking to BBC Tees after opening the festival, Bishop Paul commented on the importance of the festival in the regeneration activity going on around the town and to the strong connection of the town to its Christian heritage.

He said: “I was delighted to be asked to bless the festival, this is a really big event in the counties calendar and for the work in regeneration of the town – it’s fantastic to see so many people visiting and taking part.”

Relates to earlier story here

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