A NEW arts festival will begin in Maldon next week.

The All Saint’s Arts Festival will be running from Friday, May 25 to Tuesday, May 29 at All Saint’s Church in High Street.

The five day exhibition in the D’Arcy room of the church will feature 14 invited professional artists and makers from all over East Anglia.

The exhibition will feature ceramics, textiles, knitted jewellery, glasswork and various prints.

Sally Pudney and Graham Bell have run the festival under its former name - the Lexden Arts Festival based at St Leonard’s Church in Lexden - since 2012.

Mrs Pudney said: “We are excited to be moving our festival venue to this lovely town centre church.”

There will also be three evening events.

On the Friday, art historian, author, lecturer and curator James Russell, will give an illustrated lecture called Edward Bawden: Artist and Adventurer.

James is curating a major exhibition of the same name at the Dulwich Picture Gallery which also opens in late May.

On the Sunday, there will be a Community Songs of Praise service in the church at 6.30pm.

The choir will be singing a selection of songs with singer and choir conductor Patrick McCarthy.

Director of music, Stuart Peglar, will also be playing solo pieces.

Admission is free, but there will be a retiring collection.

On the Monday, storyteller and novelist Hugh Lupton, will present The Mabinogion: Welsh Legends Retold, an evening of stories.

This evening is suitable for adults and children aged over 12 years old.

The exhibition will be open daily from 10.30am to 4.30pm except Sunday when it will open at 1pm.

There will be a café in the church running for the whole festival, for light refreshments and lunches.

Tickets for the Friday and Monday evenings are £12 and are available from the website, the Maldon Tourist Information Centre, or from the church this Sunday.

Visit allsaintsartsfestival.org.uk.