Come and listen to an evening of Sea Shanties

Friday 10th May 2024, 7.30pm, Silvester Horne Institute, Church Stretton

Bar available

Admission £10.00, Tickets (cash only) from Vines, the library and on the door

Plus games to raise
 money for the RNLI

Previous Events

An illustrated talk by Ben Warren

Tuesday 26 March 2024 , 2.30pm, United Reform Church Hall (URC)

The Narnia stories written by C. S. Lewis have been a publishing sensation – over 120 million copies have been sold since they were first published in the 1950s. In this talk Ben will explore the factors that led to their creation: the people Lewis met, the landscapes he loved, his vast knowledge of literature (including medieval literature) and, pervading all the stories, Lewis’s Christian beliefs. In addition, Ben will explore the evidence for an intriguing new theory that there is a secret Narnia code – that each one of the seven Narnia books is based on the characteristics of one of the seven medieval planets. The talk will be illustrated throughout – including some of the beautiful original Narnia illustrations by the artist Pauline Baynes. This promises to be a fascinating and entertaining exploration of the background to Lewis’s enchanting imaginary world. All welcome.

photo of various books by Russian authors
Examples of Russia Literature

Wednesday 28th February, 2.30pm, in the Library

Following her successful talk on Turkish Literature, Janet Longstaff is introducing us to Russian Literature. She doesn’t intend to get political but will be historical and link books with places she has visited in Russia.

Janet has a collection of over 70 books both by Russians and about Russia, some of which will be available to buy at her talk to raise extra funds for the library.

Admission £5.00, pay on the door

High Leasowes -Illustrated Talk

Photo of High Leasowes in June showing wild flowers
Wild flowers in High Leasowes

Speaker: Sandra Whitlock

Wednesday 17th January at 2.30 pm in the Library

In September 2022, Sandra and Peter Whitlock managed to raise £400,000 through crowd funding to  purchase these  fields. The High Leasowes Management Committee now manage the three fields to improve habitat and increase biodiversity, whilst providing space for people to quietly appreciate the area. We hope you will join us to hear this inspirational story and enjoy photos of the fields at their best.

Admission £5.00, pay on the door. All proceeds going to support the library

Glyns’ Garden

Illustrated Talk by Hily Clarke, founder of Glyn’s Garden.

Date 24th November, 2.30pm in the URC Hall

The illustrated talk will provide a potted history of gardening as a therapy.

Hily will also talk about the Church Stretton project and how it will be available to help a number of different groups locally.

Proceeds from the talk will be shared by Glyn’s Garden and the Friends of Church Stretton Library.

Help support these two local projects that are part of the rich culture of the locale.

Admission £5.00 payable on the door.

Flyer advertising poetry events

AGM & Future Plans for Church Stretton Library

Thursday 15th June, URC Hall, 7.30 pm , Admission Free

Please come to our AGM to hear about future plans for Church Stretton Library .

Speakers include Peter Banford, newly appointed Culture and Communities Manager for Shropshire Council and Rawden Parslow, Shropshire Library Services Area Manager.

Following the  meeting there will be the opportunity for discussion and sharing of ideas  with  wine, soft drinks and nibble

Our Annual & Financial Reports for 2022-23 are now on our website.


Stained Glass: Talk & Demonstration

Glass technician and artist Andy Bennett will be giving two talks and demonstrations on the art of working with stained glass

Monday 17 April & Wednesday 19 April

Church Stretton Library:2.30pm to 4pm.

Advance booking is essential as places (£7.50) will be limited, so those attending will have a good view and the opportunity to participate in Andy’s demonstrations.

Some glass craft items will be available to buy, these range in value from £8 to £20 depending on size.

To reserve a place please email or call Ben Warren  on 0777 943 7871

Turkey through its Writers

A talk by Janet Longstaff

in the library, March 22nd 2.30

Our Day Flying Spitfires

Speakers:  Dave Lyons & Malcolm Phillips

with film footage from the cockpit

Monday 20th February 7.30pm  at The URC Hall

Dave and Malcolm will recount their unforgettable ‘fighter appreciation experience’ from May last year when they flew Spitfires over the south coast in simulated combat in pursuit of a fighter plane. Captured live on 360° cameras – you can share in this thrilling adventure, which turned out to be considerably more dramatic and eventful than had been originally envisaged.

Admission: £5.00 on the door

Stepping Stones Project

Thursday 19th January, 7.30pm (via Zoom)

View towards Stiperstones from Asterstone Bank on the Long Mynd showing the Stepping Stones project area
View towards Stiperstones from Asterton Bank on the Long Mynd

An on-line talk by Charlie Bell, Project Officer, Stepping Stones Conservation Project, NT

The National Trust currently lead this project, other main partners being AONB Partnership, Natural England and Shropshire Wildlife Trust

Charlie will give an overview of this exciting nature conservation project, which aims to restore or create ‘stepping stones’ and corridors of wildlife habitat covering more than 200km² between the Long Mynd and the Stiperstones and beyond.  She will give an update on the achievements to date and outline plans for the future. 


A talk by Vicki Munro

photo of Vicki Munro
Vicki Munro

Wednesday 16 November, 2.30pm in Church Stretton Library

Based on the work of Sir Muir Gray, Director of the Optimal Ageing Programme in Oxford, we will cover what ageing is and what it means for us, how we can reduce our risk of non-communicable diseases, and the importance of having purpose and a positive outlook. We will see that underpinning each of these factors is the importance of maintaining or improving our personal level of fitness, and the incredible benefits it can bring.

Branded Rogues in concert

Brian Stone and Ed Drury

Silvester Horne Institute, 7.30, Saturday September 10th

Vibrant multi-instrumentalists Brian Stone and Ed Drury perform a genre-bending repertoire from the 16th to the 21st centuries. Expect folk(ish), jazz(ish), pop(ish) and a few surprises along the way.

As this is a benefit concert for Friends of the Library look out for some pieces with a literary link!

Tickets (£10.00, £5.00 school pupils) are obtainable from the Library, Books by Moonlight, and Vines.

AGM Wed June 22nd, URC, 7.30pm

We will be reporting back on this year activities and giving an update on how the new Shropshire Council Library Strategy will affect Church Stretton Library.

We also want to share our thoughts on how to spend money on library improvements.

Interesting Times: The Strettons 1914-1918

Old Church Stretton – Part 2

Photo of Tower Building built 1905 by the C.S Land Co.

Speaker: Tony Crowe

Thursday 31st March, 2.30 pm , The Silvester Horne Institute

Geology Talk -Church Stretton in the Ice Age

Thursday 17th February, 7.30pm–8.30pm (via Zoom)

An On-line talk by Dr Peter Toghill

Peter will give an introduction to the impact of the ice age on the local landscape.  

There will be an opportunity to submit questions to the speaker.

Ablaze!  – poetry events with Jean Atkin

Syria Then and Now: 8000 BC to 2022 AD

An illustrated talk by Janet Longstaff

Friday 21st January URC Hall, 2.30 – 3.30pm

Syria is a war-torn country. Janet has stayed there three times as an independent visitor. Her last visit was three years before the latest war erupted. She has an on-going interest in events in the Middle East.  Hear about ancient civilizations, a variety of cultures and religions. Find out about some of the interesting people she met.

Deer Including Reindeer

Thursday 9th December, 7.30pm (via Zoom)

An On-line talk by Aiden Foster, president of the British Deer Veterinary Association

Aiden will briefly outline the six main species of wild deer in the UK and their various potential interaction with human activities. As the Christmas period approaches the media usually tend to focus their seasonal interest in a seventh species of deer – the reindeer

An overview will be given of some of the unusual features of reindeer

Old Church Stretton

High Street, Church Stretton, Looking South Photo by R.L.Bartlett

Local History Talk by Tony Crowe

Thursday 25th November 2.30 pm


Quizmaster Ben Warren will test your quiz skills with his usual mixture of fun and thought-provoking questions.


An evening of music for cello and piano

with Thomas McMahon and Richard McMahon

playing music by Chopin, Elgar & Franck

Thomas McMahon (cello) and Richard McMahon (piano)

Saturday 30 October at 7.30pm, in the URC Church

All proceeds to go to Friends of Church Stretton library

Attracting Birds to your Garden

An On-line talk by Dr John Arnfield

Thursday 10th June, 7.30pm–8.30pm (via Zoom)

Goldcrest (Regulus regulus). Peel Wyke, Church Stretton, Shropshire.

John Arnfield, Chair of Shropshire Ornithological Society, will explain how any size of garden can be designed to attract more bird species and wildlife – he will advise on bird food, watering and nesting. There will be an opportunity to submit questions to the speaker.

Geology of Church Stretton the Jewel in the Crown

an online talk by Dr Peter Toghill

Thursday 6 May, 7.30pm–8.30pm (via Zoom)

Local resident and geologist, Dr Peter Toghill will give an introductory talk about the geological history of our local area. 

Restoring a Wetland Flower Meadow in Church Stretton

Wednesday 14th April, 7.30pm–8.30pm (via Zoom)

Dr Isabel Carter of the Stretton Wetlands Interest Group, will describe the history of the area, finding from surveys and future aims for the site include the restoration of a wetland flower meadow – one of the UK’s most threatened habitats. There will be an opportunity to submit questions to the speaker.

Poetry Event: Light and Thank You

An On-line slide talk by Dr Isabel Carter

Saturday 27th March, 7.30pm – 9.00pm

Geology Walk

Event in the library

Lucy Aphramoor: Raise the Roof

Friday 28th February. 7-9pm

A mesmorising exploration looking at food, body respect and the ways we connect with ourselves and each other


A Real Inspector Calls

Murder Mystery Dinner

Saturday 15th Feb , Parish Centre

Tickets all sold out

Winter Talk – Thursday 6th Feb, 2.30pm

Winning Hearts & Changing Minds: How the British Council makes friends for the UK” – Michael White

Michael worked for the British Council in ten countries between 1984 and 2015. He will talk about his experience in two of his favourites – Cuba and Yemen, which should make for a fascinating insight into life in these countries. 

Winter Talk , Thursday 9th January, 2.30and due to popular demand being repeated on Thursday 23rd at 2.30

A 500 mile walk across Spain’ – Sandra Whitlock

Children’s Christmas Craft Event

In 2012, Sandra set off alone to walk the famous 500 mile (790km) ‘Camino de Santiago’ – and then two years later, returned to walk it again. Sandra will describe her experience of walking this historic pilgrimage, the trials and tribulations of being ‘on Camino’ and the incredible rewards that have made this journey so popular.

Sat 14th Dec – 2.30 pm in the library

Come to our Christmas Craft workshop and make some Christmas decorations to take home

Admission 50p per child on the door

Children should be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Drinks and mince pies will be available.

New Book Launch

Meredith Vivian: ‘Running Hard’

Wed 4th December 7.00 to 9.00 pm in the library

For more information click here

Sandford Avenue and its Lime Trees

Local history talk by Tony Crowe

Rev Holland Sandford and his avenue of lime trees. Hear how this Victorian philanthropist developed his vision for the town and planted the lime trees. Silvester Horne Institute, 7th November, 2.30pm Tickets £3.00 on the door.

The Pedlar’s Tale

A Fabulous Puppet-Play for Children and Adults.

The story teller weaves a magical spell and draws you into a fantastical world bringing past events to life with music and puppets. This event is funded largely by Arts Alive

Church Stretton Library: 2pm. Adults go free when accompanied by a child (£4 per child)

October 30th French Horn Connexion

URC Church at 7.00pm in aid of the library.

Join us for a convivial and relaxing evening of music-making from hunting-horn pieces to Simon and Garfunkel arrangements.French Horn ConneXion will perform a varied programme of music to suit all tastes.

Also featuring in this concert, and regaling us with his witty renditions of comic popular songs is Mr Philip Harratt.

Tickets £10.00 from Burway Books and J R Thomas which includes cheese and wine in the interval


October 9th- Close to Paradise

Church Stretton Library at 7.00pm

Another wonderful opportunity to enjoy the magic of words all relating to Shropshire. Phil Bowen, poet and playwright reads extracts from Wodehouse and Betjeman.

Admission £5 includes tea and biscuits.

October 3rd Home Truths – poetry workshop with Jean Atkin 

Church Stretton Library 3 to 4.30 pm

Jean Atkin, BBC Poet for Shropshire, leads a poetry workshop specially for National Poetry Day. This is a workshop, kindly sponsored by Arts Alive, in which you can tell the truth about something that matters to you, or deliver a home truth, or – just possibly – tell a big lie! Jean will provide inventive ways into our tangle of truth and lies, and this will be a creative, friendly and celebratory afternoon.

September 24 th Poetry Workshop with Lucy Aphramor

With Poetry month and mental health awareness month just around the corner come and join our local poet in this FREE and friendly workshop.

Quiz evening Friday 20th September, 7.30pm

in aid of the library

 Parish Centre, 7.30pm, £5 per person, Maximum 6 per team

Bring your own drinks and nibbles.

September 13th, Parkinson’s UK  Coffee & Cake

Church Stretton Library, 10.00 to 12.00

Parkinson’s UK Church Stretton Support Group invite you to join them at the library for coffee and cake. Proceeds to Parkinson’s UK and Church Stretton Library

Summer activities in the library

Children’s Summer Reading Challenge

Children’s Summer reading challenge events

Author Events

Public launch Thursday 25th July; 3-4pm

Please join us for drinks & nibbles and hear our plans to support the library.

The Bundle: Wed 19th June, URC, 7.30pm

A funny but sad production by the Journeyman Theatre based on the true story of an asylum seeker. Age range 16+

Read more about it here


Living with Dementia: What Helps We asked people who live with or care for people with dementia to give us their tips about what helps. This was used to create a display in the library during Dementia Week, 20-26th May.

You can download the handout given out at this display here.  

Dementia Café: Thurs 23rd May, 10 – 12. Pop in for tea and cake – all welcome

Interesting Times – Stretton Players

This performance depicted life in The Strettons during the Great War. It was based on research we carried out using the library local history archives and separate research carried out by the local history group on the servicemen who did not return.