Hexham Abbey has scheduled events starting next month to celebrate its 1,350th anniversary throughout 2024.

In preparation for the milestone, a series of events, designed to reflect on its history as one of the earliest seats of Christianity in England, has been put together.

Reverend Canon David Glover, rector of Hexham Abbey, said: "Not many institutions in the world get the chance to celebrate 1,350 years of life and so this is a really exciting year for the Abbey.

"Over the next twelve months we will give thanks for all who have contributed to the Abbey’s long history. But we also want to look ahead and remember that God is calling us, in this generation, to keep alive the light of the Gospel. I do hope you will visit the Abbey during the year and find a wonderful welcome.”

The events will kick off on the weekend of February 2 to 4 with a Festival of Flame showcasing a light display inside and outside of the Abbey.

There will be a blend of candles, music, and 10-minute history talks by historians.

On February 4, at 10am, a specially arranged service marking the start of anniversary celebrations will take place, attended by the Rt Revd Dr Helen-Ann Hartley, Bishop of Newcastle, and the Revd Glover.

Stars for Eternity, an art project involving 5,000 origami stars hanging in the Abbey's old choir stalls, will also be launched next month.

Each star symbolises someone special from the past or present, chosen by residents.

The project will be similar to the On Angels Wings display during the pandemic, and involves participation from schools and community groups.

The following months will see a series of additional events, including festivals, concerts, and the continuation of the Abbey's organ recitals, Phelps at 50.

The series, marking the 50th birthday of the Phelps organ, will feature fortnightly performances every other Thursday at 1pm and will culminate with a special appearance from James Lancelot, Durham Cathedral's organist for 32 years.

For more information, visit http://tinyurl.com/23hrnxj8.