Meet artist Alison Lapper as she opens Shoreham Methodist Church’s Arts and Crafts Festival to celebrate its 50th year

Artist Alison Lapper, famously portrayed in a sculpture in Trafalgar Square for two years, will open Shoreham Methodist Church’s Arts and Crafts Festival and help celebrate its 50th year.

The festival runs from Saturday, August 3, to Sunday, August 11, at the church in Brunswick Road, Shoreham.

Artist Alison Lapper. Picture: Derek Martin DM17735640a

Artist Alison Lapper. Picture: Derek Martin DM17735640a

Doors open at 10am daily and Alison, who was awarded an MBE in 2003 for services to art, will officially open the festival at 10.30am on the first day.

Jackie Gillespie, chairman of the organising committee, said: “We are thrilled to have Alison open the festival, especially in this special year. As well as showing work by local artists, we will be paying tribute to our founder, Molly Harvey, who is remembered as having a listening ear and an open house for the young.”

All the profits will, as always, benefit local and national charities. Last year, the festival distributed more than £1,000 to charities including Worthing-based Turning Tides, Adur Special Needs Project and Water for Life, a project helping communities impacted by climate change in Nicaragua.

Regular visitors will find work by old friends such as Sally Cooper, a talented artist whose paintings and cards have been a feature since the first festival.

Felted animals made by Rosie Glow Arts and Crafts, a new exhibitor

Felted animals made by Rosie Glow Arts and Crafts, a new exhibitor

There will also be exciting new exhibitors, such as Paul Stapleton, an illustrator who produces unique board games.

During the week, there will be three 1pm concerts, bass baritone Franz Hepburn on August 3, musician Lynda Lyne on August 7 and opera singer Sarah Esser on August 10.

Jackie said: “The ever-popular bass baritone Franz Hepburn will be singing a range of songs to suit all tastes. The talented local musician Lynda Lyne will perform classical and jazz music on piano, clarinet and recorder. Last year, both musicians delighted their audiences.

“For the first time, opera singer Sarah Esser will sing well-loved popular classics in aid of Alzheimer’s Society. Entry is free, with a retiring collection at the end of the concert.”

Paupers' Ladder, a board game to be exhibited this year by Paul Stapleton

Paupers' Ladder, a board game to be exhibited this year by Paul Stapleton

The festival exhibition will be open 10am to 5.30pm on the two Saturdays, 12pm to 4pm on the two Sundays, and 10am to 1.30pm Monday to Friday.

Work by Honey Beads Design Jewellery, exhibiting at the festival for the first time

Work by Honey Beads Design Jewellery, exhibiting at the festival for the first time