Madagascar 3 to be screened at St Mary’s Church in Bury St Edmunds in new cinema project

The new community cinema launched in St Mary's Church in Bury. Joanna Rayner and Rev Cannon Malcolm

The new community cinema launched in St Mary's Church in Bury. Joanna Rayner and Rev Cannon Malcolm Rogers are pictured. - Credit: Archant

A Bury St Edmunds church is turning into a cinema as it intends to hold free community film events over the coming year.

St Mary’s Church is widening its appeal by using its big screen and aisle seats to screen family films.

The Reverend Cannon Malcolm Rogers said: “We have a large screen which we use in some of our services, and we felt we could make more use of that.

“The aim of the evenings is to bring people together in what is Bury’s hidden treasure, the third largest parish church in the country, with the second longest aisle and largest west window.

“We know that people love the building of St Mary’s, and we hope that people of all ages will see it as their church.

“We will be showing films that are suitable for all the family. We have a film next Saturday and we will be showing a couple of films in the autumn. If it works well this year we will try to develop it in future years.

St Edmundsbury Borough Councillors Joanna Rayner and Paul Farmer, both of whom represent the Abbeygate Ward, have given a combined total of more than £500 to the church, to fund the cost of free refreshments and film licensing.

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Ms Rayner said: “Paul and I are delighted to support this fantastic project which really brings the local community together.

“The funding will help the church not only to put on free films throughout the year, but to provide free refreshments as well.

“I know that St Mary’s piloted the idea with a screening of Frozen in January. That proved very popular with around 160 people of all ages, from local schools, residential homes, and from among the congregation, all enjoying the event. I expect this community appeal to continue as more movies are shown.”

The next screening is on Saturday at 6pm, when St Mary’s will be showing Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted.

Everyone is welcome but children must be accompanied by an adult.