News

Winter Talks in the library

Sandra Whitlock sets off on her journey

We are beginning a series of monthly Winter talks on Thursday afternoons in the library.

Our first talks is called ‘A 500 mile walk across Spain’ – given by Sandra Whitlock.

It takes place on Thursday 9th January at 2.30 pm

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. Since then she has walked a number of other pilgrimage routes, all ending at Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Sandra has also volunteered at one of the pilgrim hostels along the way.

Sandra will talk about the Camino and 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.

Tickets £5.00 on the door includes tea and cake.

Burway Books – Book Launch in the library

Wed 4th December 7.00 to 9.00 pm

Tickets £5.00 from Burway Books and Church Stretton Library

Drinks (wine and soft drinks) and nibbles will be provided

Any profits from ticket sales will go to The Friends of Church Stretton Library

Meredith lives in Shropshire with his beloved wife. As well as being a dedicated sports fan, Meredith loves drumming, stand-up comedy, swifts and blackbirds. He began to lose his sight as a teenager but, despite the minor inconvenience of blindness, these days, he ‘sees’ life more clearly than ever.

About the Book

Joe Marshall is loved by the residents of the care home where he works but, as Victoria Court is about to find out, he is no ordinary odd-job man.

Victoria is a highly-principled headmistress who is dealing with some challenging students: they are facing trauma from which they cannot escape, no matter how hard they run. She is determined to help them but she knows it won’t be easy, especially as she too has her demons.

When Joe asks if any of her students can help him with arranging a birthday party for one of the care home’s oldest residents, Victoria takes a leap of faith and encourages her most difficult students to volunteer.

Victoria has no idea how much Joe’s empathy and inspiration will affect the lives of Frank, Anthony, Katy and Gary, or how much her own sense of self is about to change. However, being with Joe is far from straightforward: his bright light casts some very deep shadows.

Set starkly in the unreconstructed culture of 1976, Running Hard doesn’t pull its punches: this is a breakneck dash full of shocks and surprises — right up to the finishing line.

More information available on Burway Books website :

Rev Holland Sandford and his avenue of lime trees

Local history talk by Tony Crowe

Sandford Ave and it’s lime trees

Sandford Avenue is named after the Reverend Holland Sandford who lined it with lime trees. Hear how this Victorian philanthropist had a vision for the town and worked with the community to plant 150 lime trees

Thursday Nov 8th, Silvester Horne Institute at 2.30 pm in aid of the library.

Tickets £3.00 on the door.

 Local History Books and leaflets on sale at this event.

Update: Library Strategy Review

Implications for Friends of Church Stretton Library 

How does this review affect us?

We have been reassured by Shropshire Library Services that the strategy review announced earlier this month will not change the arrangements proposed back in January whereby:

  • Shropshire Library services continues to manage Church Stretton Library library in its current building
  • Church Stretton Town Council and Friends of Church Stretton library provide financial support to help towards running costs.

The Town Council and Shropshire Library services are still in discussion about how the proposed future partnership arrangement will work between Shropshire Library Services and the Town Council, and what on-going financial contribution from the Town Council is realistic and equitable, with the support of the Friends of Church Stretton Library.

We would still encourage people to  respond to this survey and let  Shropshire Council know how much you appreciate the library service in Church Stretton by going to

  https://www.shropshire.gov.uk/get-involved/library-strategy-engagement-and-consultation/

Money raised so far

Since April 2019 Friends of Church Stretton Library has raised approx. £5,000 through donations and fund-raising events.

All money collected so far by Friends of Church Stretton Library is being be used to:  

  • Purchase equipment to improve the library in Church Stretton
  • Support events taking place in the library e.g. forthcoming children’s puppet event
  • Build up our reserve, which will help us cover possible shortfalls in fund raising in future years.

We expect to be making financial contributions to help with running costs of the library from April next year.

Concert: Wednesday 30th October, United Reform Church , 7pm

Join us for a convivial and relaxing evening of music-making in support of our wonderful Library.

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 are £10.00 which includes cheese and wine served in the interval

New Shropshire Council Library Consultation

Consultation from 30th September – November 8th 2019

Shropshire Council are running a consultation to help them develop a new library strategy. We would encourage people to respond to this survey, so Shropshire Council continue to hear how much the library service in Church Stretton is valued.

You can find the survey at https://shropshire.gov.uk/get-involved/library-strategy-engagement-and-consultation/

Why a New Strategy?

We are not surprised Shropshire Council is developing a new strategy so soon after the previous one, approved in Jan 2018. In this earlier strategy, tier 2 libraries such as Church Stretton were meant to be:

  • Hosted and managed by local community organisations within contract arrangements with Shropshire Council
  • Receive a maximum of five year time limited tapered revenue support from Shropshire Council and be totally funded by the local community by the end of 2022/23

In Jan 2018 a procurement exercise was carried out where Shropshire Council invited local community organisations to bid to run the library in Church Stretton. None of the bids put forward were found to be viable.

In January 2019, Shropshire Library services proposed a different approach where they continued to manage the library in Church Stretton, with financial support from both the Town Council and Friends of Church Stretton Library. We welcomed this approach believing it to be a much more practical and viable approach to outsourcing. 

Funding Issues

Church Stretton Library Support Group and the Town Council both challenged the unfairness of the 2018 strategy in which libraries in the largest (Tier 1) towns would continue to be funded from the county council tax.  Smaller towns such as Church Stretton would be expected to pay for their Tier 2 Libraries from an additional local council tax, and would face potential reductions in staffing and opening hours. In addition, these smaller towns also faced the prospect of having to take on the funding of leisure services, youth services, street lighting and other services. There would also be no contribution from the many surrounding parishes, whose residents also use Tier 2 libraries. 

We will be making our own more detailed response to Shropshire Council, and making the strongest representation that the new Library Strategy will address these issues in a way which is much fairer for towns such as Church Stretton.

Your response will help

We would encourage individuals to respond to this survey, before the dead-line of November 8th so that Shropshire Council understand how local residents value not only the current opening hours but also the range of services provided by the library

The survey can be found online at:

https://shropshire.gov.uk/get-involved/library-strategy-engagement-and-consultation/

Table of Tier 1, 2 and 3 libraries

Tier 1 Libraries: Shrewsbury, Lantern, Oswestry, Market Drayton, Whitchurch, Ludlow, Bridgnorth

Tier 2 Libraries: Cleobury Mortimer, Church Stretton, Bishop’s Castle, Ellesmere, Wem, Pontesbury and Albrighton

Tier 3 Libraries : Brosely, Shifnal, Highley, Craven Arms, Much Wenlock, Gobowen, Bayston Hill

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Help us find Church Strettons favourite poem

We hope you are enjoying reading the poems displayed in shop windows around town to mark National Poetry Day.

How many have you spotted? Which is your favourite?

Here is a list of traders’ favourite poems , including why they chose them.

Do come along to the library before October 3rd to vote on your favourite poem.

Also we have three poetry events in the next few weeks:

September 24 th : Poetry Workshop with Lucy Aphramor

October 3rd : Home Truths – poetry workshop with Jean Atkin 

October 9th- : Close to Paradise – Phil Bowen, poet and playwright reads extracts from Wodehouse and Betjeman relating to Shropshire.

More details can be found on our events page