Events to commemorate the 250th Anniversary of the death of Thomas Gray
St Giles' Church, Stoke Poges, SL2 4NZ
St Giles' was the inspiration for Gray's "Elegy in a Country Churchyard" and his final resting place. His tomb is in the churchyard and a memorial stands in neighbouring Gray's Field. The church congregation and Stoke Poges Society are collaborating on several events this summer to celebrate his legacy.
Art Exhibition 21st-26th June 2021
?The elegy and church have inspired many artworks over the years.
The Exhibition will include digital and hard copy facsimiles of works by renowned artists featuring Thomas Gray, his tomb and elegy, kindly shared by Stoke Poges Memorial Gardens, Eton, Pembroke and Peterhouse Colleges.
The University of California have sent a beautiful facsimile of William Blake’s illustrations to the Elegy written in a Country Churchyard with an audio narration by actor Robert Bathurst.
There will be work by local artists, including several by the Late Revd Cyril Harris, vicar of Stoke Poges from 1968-1998 and a display by the children of Stoke Poges School.
Opening times for general public: 10am-3pm Monday 21st – Saturday 26th
Guided tours will be available.
Parking for Blue Badge holders is available Mon-Fri in the Memorial Gardens. Please aware there are uneven surfaces in our churchyard and inside the church. There is ramped access to the interior of church and toilets.
Refreshments will be available throughout the day on Saturday 26th June. At other times, picnics are welcome in the churchyard only, not in the church or Memorial Gardens. No dogs please.
Visitors to the exhibition are invited to follow the Heritage Walk, which includes the Memorial Gardens, Gray’s Tomb and Memorial, maintained by the National Trust, in the neighbouring field. Maps will be available.
Local artist and member of the congregation at Stoke Poges Church, Heather McDowell will be hosting a sketching afternoon open to all on Monday 21st June 1-5pm. Please email Heather for more details.
We will be following the latest government guidelines for Covid 19. Please be prepared to wear a mask indoors, sanitise hands and keep your distance from other visitors.
For further information contact Revd Natasha Brady firstname.lastname@example.org or 01753 642331
Do you have any artwork for the exhibition?
We are seeking Visual Art of any medium for display but not for sale, which must feature either Thomas Gray himself, his memorial or tomb. Work is welcomed from local artists, alive or not, alongside antique prints or originals.
As this is not a sale of work, there is no charge to exhibit but an entry form must be completed (see below). Artists may display contact details with the artwork if they wish.
The exhibition will be manned at all times when not locked but artists should use their own exhibition insurance if applicable. If you have queries about insurance of valuable works, please contact the Church Office.
If you would like us to hang the work, please deliver on Saturday 19th between 2-5pm. If you would prefer to set up your own display, please bring it to the church on Sunday 20th between 2-5pm. Please contact us if you cannot make those times.
All work will be placed on tables or standing easels, not hung on a wall or display board. Please advise whether you are able to supply an easel or display stand appropriate for your work. Tables will be supplied. Unframed work must be mounted and cellophane wrapped.
Covid restrictions appropriate to the local area at that time will be adhered to throughout the exhibition and these details plus opening times / ticketing will be advised nearer the date.
Exhibition Entry Form
Please complete a separate form for each artwork. By completing this form, you agree to Stoke Poges Church using and storing your personal details for the purposes of this exhibition only.
Title of work
Year of work (approx. year if known or leave blank)
Size (width x height to nearest cm, including frame)
Medium - e.g. oil, watercolour etc
I can supply a suitable display stand/easel
Any other information about the work that you would like to share as part of the display (max 500 characters)
Artist in Residence
If you would be interested in being an Artist in Residence during the week of the exhibition, please email us.
Other events this summer
Remembering Thomas Gray - short service and wreath laying
Friday 30 July 2021 at 11am - more details to follow
Heritage Open Day - with Stoke Poges Memorial Gardens and the National Trust
Sunday 12 September 2021 from 2pm to 5pm - more details to follow