St. Mary Magdalene’s Church and Hall a film set
Vicar Andy plays the Vicar
Monday April 4th 11.30 am
Church Brow and Church Street are closed to vehicles. Huge vans, some with steps to their cavernous interiors, line both sides of the road. More vans and a refreshment booth are in the NFU car park between Study House and the churchyard. A fine display of artificial but very realistic spring blooms has appeared along both sides of the path to the south door of the church. The church door is firmly closed but lights far brighter than the normal LEDs can be seen through the upper windows.
Out in the street there are few passers-by. Mary Robinson from Clitheroe Rotary is on duty as a steward – Rotary charities will benefit from her and other Rotarians’ involvement. I ask if I may take a photograph of the church. “Sorry,” she apologised, “You’ve asked so I have to say no”. We both laugh which draws a “Ssh!” from another steward at the churchyard gateway. Looking round, Mary comments, “Most of these are film crew. There aren’t many others.”
Inside St. Mary’s Centre the main hall appears to be a hive of activity but I don’t like to investigate too closely. The Mutual Room is set up as a dressing room with mirrors, lights and a clothes rail. The door to the Parish Office is closed but opens to a gentle push. Inside it’s Monday morning as usual with Katie at her desk and Colin on the St. Mary’s Centre computer. It’s the one piece of normality in the building; even the lower hall seems to be in on the action somehow with a (non-Rotarian) steward seated on a chair inside the Paradise Lane door keeping an eye on something out of my line of sight.
Only later do I find out what was going on in church when I type “Greatest Days in Clitheroe” into the search bar on my laptop. On the Manchester Evening News website up pops a photo of a bride and groom leaving St. Mary Magdalene’s by the glass door. Guests are showering them with confetti and there’s a very familiar figure in the background. Many thanks to photographer Mark Campbell for giving us the picture of the Vicar playing a Vicar!
When asked for a comment on his experience as a walk-on Vicar Andy says, “I met lots of very interesting people but don’t say I’m going to be on the big screen. I’ll probably end up on the cutting room floor.” Let’s hope not!