Malmesbury Abbey opens up for skating week
Malmesbury's historic abbey will be transformed again next week as pews are swapped for quarter pipes in time for the sixth annual Malmesbury Abbey skate.
After Sunday mass on February 16, the congregation at the 12th-century former monastery will put down a temporary floor and 120 hay bales to create the week-long skateboard and scooter park for half term.
The event has live music, workshops and a soft play day for pre-school children.
Festival organiser Sarah McGrory said: “A lot of people asked at the start of planning this year’s event if there still a need for Abbey Skate now we had the new skate park in town.
“It’s about more than skating – now it’s about community and family. We have extended the event to include younger ones with the soft play and added a few extra under-eight sessions but most of all for me this year it is about the support we have had from the skate community at the new skate park. For them there is no them and us, it’s we.”
The skate park is run by volunteers from the abbey congregation in partnership with the national Christian Surfers and Christian Skaters UK organisation.
Volunteers and skateboarders from the Malmesbury skatepark at the town’s youth centre are also working with the team.
This year’s event features a dance workshop and bespoke sessions for youngsters in wheelchairs.
The Rev Neill Archer, vicar of Malmesbury Abbey, said: “At the heart of the event is the message to the young people of Malmesbury that the abbey is as much a building for them as it is for everyone, and that God and the church community loves them.”
Festivities begin on Monday with soft play for pre-schoolers from 9.30am-11.30am and 12.30pm-2.30pm.
On Wednesday the skate park will open at 10am with a dance workshop from 3pm-5pm and live music from Emily McGrory at 7pm.
The skate park opens at 10am on the Thursday and Friday. For information and bookings, visit www.malmes buryabbey.com/skate