Glasgow Lent festival fuses art, music and faith

Lentfest got underway in Glasgow this week with its traditional offerings of art and faith.

The annual festival runs over six weeks and is the biggest festival of the Year for the Archdiocese of Glasgow Arts Project founded in 2006.

The opening night saw a free performance by top brass musicians from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland at Our Holy Redeemer's Church in Clydebank.

At another opening event, Scottish artist Sandy Moffat created a new piece while opera singer Martin Aelred performed music from Puccini's Messa di Gloria. The finished work was to be auctioned in support of an emergency appeal for Syria by the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (SCIAF).

The programme in the run-up to Easter includes classical music concerts, film screenings, poetry and a travelling play entitled "The Pilgrimage".

Some of Scotland's finest Gaelic musicians and singers will perform at St Mary's Church, Calton, on 2 March in a concert to be broadcast by the BBC.

The Archbishop of Glasgow, Philip Tartaglia, said: "This year's Lentfest promises an amazing array of opportunities for people across the Glasgow area to engage with faith through art.

"Many of the performances will be taken to areas which do not usually have visiting theatre companies or musicians in their neighbourhood.

"The aim of the festival is to reach out to people of all faiths and none with the Christian message as expressed in art."

Director of Lentfest, Stephen Callaghan, said: "Each year the Festival has its own surprises and highlights.

"Lentfest is very much a community arts festival and some of my best memories are of taking theatre to the housing schemes of Glasgow and finding there receptive audiences and the warmest of welcomes."