A CONCERT held in memory of a popular West Cumbrian couple launched an autumn of celebrations marking 200 years of one of Workington’s most recognisable buildings.

The event marked the beginning of a series of events celebrating the bicentenary of St John’s Church, Workington, which the couple were involved in the planning of.

Two of the churches ‘most beloved’ members, Gareth Evans and his wife Pat Evans of High Brigham, near Cockermouth, died in a crash on the A66 near Workington on Monday, February 13.

On Saturday, September 16 the concert, which was hosted by the church to celebrate the much-respected couple, saw Pat and Gareth’s son, Richard, play with his friends as part of their quintet.

Times and Star: The quintet which featured Pat and Gareth's son Richard played in the church.The quintet which featured Pat and Gareth's son Richard played in the church. (Image: Kath Goodwin)

The Very Revd Dr Frances Ward said: “St John’s Church Workington is 200 years old this Autumn. Standing in the centre of town it continues to represent much of the history and memories of Workington people during that time, where christenings, marriages and funeral have been held.

“Last weekend the church launched a festival of celebration, kicking off with an open day to view local history exhibitions and artwork and with a concert of a brass quintet led by Richard Evans - professional tuba player - who is the son of Pat and Gareth Evans, tragically killed on the A66 in February.

“The concert was a tremendous occasion - full of laughter and a few tears - as we remembered dear friends and looked forward to the future on the sure foundation of such a rich history.

“All visitors will be most welcome - the church is open on Wednesday mornings and lunchtime when a delicious lunch is available.”

Times and Star: Concert goers watch as the quintet plays.Concert goers watch as the quintet plays. (Image: Kath Goodwin)

The church, which was consecrated in November 1823, will be running a number of events throughout the autumn to celebrate its 200 years in the community.

The church will be open every Wednesday morning for people to take a look at the local history displays which have been produced to mark the occasion.

A celebration concert will be hosted on Friday, September 22 at 6.30pm where community choirs will come together to celebrate the anniversary.

There will also be a local history lecture on Sunday, November 24 looking at ‘Who is in the Graveyard?” from 3pm.