Friends of St Mary’s John McCarthy’s Woodbridge It was another full house at Woodbridge Riverside Cinema for the second screening of John McCarthy’s Woodbridge. And as the applause slowly died away, the DVDs were selling like hot cakes – all in aid of church building refurbishment. The film, commissioned by the Friends of St Mary’s, has been a success by any standards. To date, over 1,000 copies of the DVD have been sold and there have been two full-house screenings at the Riverside. The film itself shows a vibrant church in an active, picturesque and historically rich local community. Filmed in his spare time over two years, it is the work of Woodbridge resident and professional film-maker Tim Curtis. Tim gives us a rounded, non-partisan view of a church at the heart of its community, with links out from church worship and events to the River Deben, the now restored Tide Mill and the world famous Anglo-Saxon burial ground of Sutton Hoo. Alongside Tim’s visual encounter is the highly personal narrative of writer and broadcaster John McCarthy, who until recently himself lived in Woodbridge, but some years back endured the harrowing experience of being held hostage in Beirut for four and a half years. At the time of writing, John McCarthy’s Woodbridge has contributed several thousand pounds to a £200,000 church refurbishment programme and, via the Friends, has paid the £10,000 needed to refurbish the stained glass window pictured. Like so many medieval churches, the repair and maintenance operation at St Mary’s is a work in progress. To the delight of all those involved, so too are the fund-raising receipts from John McCarthy’s Woodbridge. The DVD John McCarthy’s Woodbridge is available, priced £10, from local outlets such as the Church Shop on Market Hill and Browsers Bookshop, as well as online via the Friends of St Mary’s website www.friends.stmaryswoodbridge.org.