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St Thomas Winter Market is coming

Published: 16 November 2021

St Thomas Winter Market

A small part of St Thomas is being transformed into a winter wonderland for a community event this weekend, thanks partly to funding from the City Council.

On Saturday (20 November), the churchyard at St Thomas the Apostle Church on Cowick Street will be turned into a beautifully lit magical winter wonderland full of local traders and makers, live music, food and bustle – for the first ever St Thomas Winter Market, sponsored by Studio Illicit.

The event has been supported by a Ward Grant and a Community Fund grant from the City Council as well as sponsorship from Cartridges Law, Underhills, Athelstans, and Fraser and Wheeler.

So much more than a market, the event is being billed as a community event that brings people together.

The creation of St Thomas resident Sophie Yeates, and brought to life with the help of a small team of fellow St Thomas dwellers, St Thomas Winter Market is designed to be a market from the community and for the community.

One of the market’s core values is to connect with the St Thomas community and be inclusive to all, so along with established local traders, organisers have worked hard to encourage fledgling traders and people starting out in their creative career to make St Thomas Winter Market their first event trading.

Also included will be several community pitches including Refugee Support Devon, Age UK, the St Thomas Community Larder and St Thomas Community Garden.

Organiser Sophie Yeates said: “I’ve lived in St Thomas for nearly 20 years and I feel the sense of community here has just got stronger and stronger. There are so many amazing community groups and individuals working hard across the city trying to uplift and improve certain areas.

“I’ve discovered so many just through the process of organising this event and St Thomas certainly has its fair share, however nothing much seems to happen down here on an events level. I still hear this same old narrative of being ‘on the wrong side of the river’ and I’ve never really understood that.

“I decided to set up this market because I felt that it was about time we had a really decent event which celebrates this brilliant area and all the wonderful diverse and interesting people we have here.

“I wanted to encourage the creative people who I know are out there doing amazing things but lack the confidence or who feel they maybe aren't good enough to take part. This event is as much about them as it is about the more established traders. I'm really proud of who we’ve got on board this year and I’m really hoping we can pull off something truly special in St Thomas that will hopefully mark the start of good things for this area of the city.”

The event is much more than a market - as well as featuring local makers and crafters, and street food traders the event offers live music, storytelling and community workshops for all the family.

Acts announced so far include: storyteller Clive Pig, the Orchard Cafe Quartet, Taiko Drummers, as well as renowned Exeter ‘paste-up’ artist Steve McCracken doing an art workshop.

St Thomas Market will run from 12-4pm on Saturday (20 November) at the Churchyard, Cowick Street, St Thomas, Exeter. Entry is free.

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